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2023-2024 Georgia Legislative Session Begins

The Georgia General Assembly began the 2023-2024 legislative session on Monday, January 9, with more than fifty newly elected members as well as new leadership in both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. SCHR’s team of public policy advocates will be engaged at every stage of the legislative process to defend the rights of people ensnared in the criminal legal system and advocate evidence-based policy reforms to fight the criminalization of race and poverty. We will use these weekly updates to share information about active legislation, important committee hearings, and opportunities for engaging lawmakers on the issues that matter most to our supporters. 

SCHR will be represented at the capitol by the state policy team, Kaitlyn Molloy, Tanika Nicholas, and James Woodall; our intern Audra Murphey; and Public Policy Director Tiffany Roberts. In close partnership with our allies and coalitions, the team will work this year to build support among lawmakers and the public for key reforms to mitigate the harm caused by the criminal legal system: 

  • With RestoreHER, as part of the Out of Isolation, Into Action campaign, we will amplify the voices of those who have experienced solitary confinement and work to outlaw the tortuous practice, which is too often relied upon in jails and prisons in lieu of adequate supports for incarcerated people. 
  • Alongside our partners in the faith and disability justice community, we will continue to advocate for stronger protections for people with intellectual disability who are facing the death penalty and for the ultimate abolition of the death penalty in Georgia. 
  • We will advance the work to end state-sanctioned racial violence by advocating improved reporting of incidents involving use of force and strengthening support for repeal of Georgia’s Stand Your Ground policy. 

We will also remain vigilant for any proposals that would exacerbate mass incarceration, the criminalization of poverty, and racial injustice, or undermine the rights and dignity of people in Georgia. We will continue to bring data to conversations about public safety and amplify stories of violence happening within the criminal legal system. 

Throughout the legislative session, our team will work diligently to keep our supporters and the community informed of active legislation that will impact these issues. Stay plugged in with goings on at the State Capitol by following us on Twitter at @southerncenter and Instagram at @thesoutherncenter, where we will share these weekly legislative updates and action alerts throughout the session. 

Finally, to learn more about how you can support criminal legal reform efforts, join the Justice Reform Partnership’s 2023 advocacy days:  

  • Talk Justice Tuesday 2023: A Youth-Centered Approach: In our 2023 series, we’ll explore what true safety can look like through a youth-centered approach, highlighting what evidence-based practices are working well in our state and providing alternatives and solutions to long-standing problems we’ve yet to tackle. Viewers will hear from advocates from across the state, those most directly-impacted by less than effective legislation, and ultimately, learn how to advance necessary reforms both at the State Capitol and in our own communities. The series will kick off on January 24 at 6:00 pm EST, and you can find more information and register on the JRP’s website
  • Justice Day 2023: Justice Reform Makes Dollars and Sense: Mark your calendars on March 8 for the 12th annual criminal justice advocacy day at the capitol and stay tuned for registration details!