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February 25, 2021

Capitol Update: Probation Reform Clean Up Bill Passes Georgia Senate

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Senate Bill 105, sponsored by Chairman Brian Strickland, unanimously passed the full Senate today. This legislation clarifies the 2017 probation reforms and streamlines the various processes for early termination of probation.

Issue Summary:

Lengthy probation periods and myriad reporting requirements make it difficult for many people on probation to keep a job, maintain stable housing, participate in drug or mental health treatment, or fulfill financial obligations, such as child support. During these long probation sentences, the state spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars supervising individuals who are unlikely to recidivate and reincarcerating individuals for technical violations. Such violations include missing a curfew or failing to report an address change, but not breaking a criminal law. 

The probation reforms of 2017 have not had their intended impact. Thousands of probationers are eligible for early termination under current guidelines, meaning they have paid all restitution, met all conditions of probation, and not been charged with any new crimes. However, only a small percentage have actually had their probation terminated early as a result of the 2017 reforms.

Not only will SB 105 reduce barriers to employment and housing for returning citizens, it will reduce crime and recidivism costs and help our economy and communities thrive. By passing SB 105, we will further our efforts to keep Georgia the No. 1 state to do business and foster a more inclusive economy.

MAC Position: Support

Sponsor: Sen. Brian Strickland (R – McDonough)

Status History:

  • 2/25/2021 - Passed Senate
  • 2/17/2021 - Committee Favorably Reported
  • 2/8/2021 - Introduced

Read Senate Bill 105 here. 

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