Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle appointed Hamrick, R-Carrollton, on May 16 to the Special Council On Criminal Justice Reform. The council was established by House Bill 265 in part because it has been many years since there has been a systematic study of the criminal justice and correctional system. Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill into law last month.
During summer and fall, the group will work with the Pew Charitable Trusts, a nonprofit that will analyze the ideas of the council.
It will report its findings and recommendations by Nov. 1 to a group of 16 legislators who will consider legislation for next year’s session.
“Georgia’s costly and often ineffective criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform,” Hamrick said. “I’m grateful to the lieutenant governor for this appointment and I look forward to working with my colleagues on this council to improve the system and enhance public safety in Georgia.”
The council consists of members who have been tapped by Deal, House Speaker David Ralston, Cagle and Chief Justice Carol Hunstein. The commission will search for ways to enhance public safety, reduce victimization, hold offenders more accountable, enhance probation and parole supervision and better manage a growing prison population. Its goals will focus on increasing public safety, improving rehabilitation and lowering state expenses.
Deal hopes the council will uncover new approaches to make Georgia communities safer.
“While this effort should ultimately uncover strategies that will save taxpayer dollars, we are first and foremost attacking the human costs of a society with too much crime, too many people behind bars, too many children growing up without a much-needed parent and too many wasted lives,” Deal said in a statement.
He also looks forward to hearing the group’s findings and recommendations.
“I feel confident that together they will produce good legislation that the General Assembly will take up next year,” Deal said.