SCHR Calls for Restored Funding to Save Fulton County Pretrial Services

11th March, 2016
Southern Center for Human Rights

Cuts totaling $13.5 million to Fulton County’s justice agencies have created a crisis as they brace for the fallout from the elimination of Fulton Pretrial Services.  Despite a projected budget revenue of $100 million, Fulton Commissioners approved the cuts, forcing the elimination of all but mandated services provided by the county’s courts, and staff furloughs by the District Attorney and Circuit Public Defender offices, among other impacts.  Pretrial Services interviews all people booked into the Fulton County Jail within 24 hours for edibility for release onto community supervision.  Last year it supervised 4,700 people in the community -- who would otherwise have been too poor to bond out of jail -- saving the county $6.6 million in jail costs. The program had a 94 percent compliance rate last year. Without Pretrial Services, crowding is expected in the jail, which was only recently released from court oversight in Harper v. Fulton County, a class-action civil rights lawsuit filed by SCHR in 2004 to address overcrowding and deplorable conditions at the jail. 

 

The Southern Center for Human Rights formally requests the Fulton County Commissioners to restore funding to Pretrial Services, which exemplifies a smart-on-crime response to the pre-trial justice process.  Click here to read the letter.