Record setting murders, poor mental health care, record suicides, and violent conditions are all the common setting for Georgia prisons in Georgia’s criminal justice system. After numerous interviews of dozens of inmates, the common theme I have discovered is that the Georgia system provides no meaningful incentives for inmates to behave and follow the rules and guidelines of the broken system.
Georgia locks up inmates for record setting sentences and gross over sentencing throughout the criminal justice system. The system provides no meaningful incentives like good time to incent inmates to behave and not commit violence. Many interviewed inmates have revealed that they simply just don’t care about the system when there is no reason for them to follow the rules and behave. Any human who has studied human behavior would know that if you don’t provide meaningful incentives to correct behavior, the behavior won’t change. Georgia apparently has never paid attention to these basic rules of human behavior. Georgia’s recidivism rates and the cost of the criminal Justice system are meaningful indicators of why the system is broken.
The only way to change the trajectory of George’s criminal justice system in my opinion is to provide meaningful good time credits for inmates that follow the rules and behave in the system. This means giving inmates credits off their sentences for the correct behavior and for meeting certain metrics within the system that are known to reduce recidivism. This should include all inmates including ones with violent offensive. It has never made sense to me that the states who have good time credits sometimes do not allow credit for the ones who have committed violent offenses when they are the ones that need the most incentive to correct their behavior and not commit further crimes down the road.
The good time credits system could have different levels of credit for nonviolent and violent offenses. However it is key to incent all to correct their behavior and reduce recidivism.
Georgia legislators need to quit passing laws based on emotional feelings rather than proven effective outcomes that benefits society the most. Lock them up and throw away the key with non-sufficient resources and no real incentives to behave are just the combined factor in why the system doesn’t work. You have to eliminate the emotional desire to simply punish offenders forever rather than thinking about the effects that locking people up for such long sentences effects society as a whole. There are numerous and large collateral effects for locking up people for such long sentences. Families suffer and society suffers for the cost to Georgia taxpayers as well as for the collateral consequences like fatherless children that the family must face. Eliminate the emotional desire to simply punish and instead create a program that effectively invented behaviors while fairly punishing inmates. My mantra is that there is no justice without fairness and forgiveness. Georgia legislators would do well to take that to heart.