Decriminalization and Reclassification of Minor Offenses

advocacy days

Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 8:30 am

Georgia State Capitol, 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334

2020 Talk Justice Tuesdays Series

This advocacy day will help attendees understand the key differences between decriminalization and reclassification and discuss best practices for reducing the harsh impact of the criminal legal system on people who do not pose risks to public safety and improve communities impacted by incarceration. There are over 400,000 people on probation in Georgia – the highest rate per capita in the country. A significant contributor to this problem is that every traffic offense in the state is a criminal misdemeanor, subject to a year in jail and a $1000 fine. While few are actually incarcerated, the criminalization of minor traffic offenses significantly impacts on the misdemeanor probation population. When someone cannot afford the legal financial obligations associated with the traffic offense, he or she is placed on criminal probation and strapped with even more fees. Also, across the country and in some Georgia cities and counties, lawmakers are recognizing the unnecessary costs associated with prosecuting marijuana possession and are reclassifying the offense as a civil infraction and/or reducing the penalties to avoid incarceration.

  • Location: Room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building
  • Time: 8:30am – 12:00pm