Ga. to consider vast changes to justice system - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ga. to consider vast changes to justice system

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By GREG BLUESTEIN
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia lawmakers are poised to consider substantial changes to the state's criminal justice system that could reshape the way courts are run and offenders are sentenced.

The effort has the backing of Gov. Nathan Deal, conservative advocacy groups and a long list of powerful attorneys.

Some hope that legislators could soon approve some of the long-sought reforms, such as granting judges more discretion over the sentencing of drug offenders. They say other proposals, such as creating a new statewide system of drug courts, could take years to establish.

But supporters say there's a growing consensus among lawmakers, attorneys and judges that some of the recommendations outlined in a report released last week must soon be adopted to reduce corrections spending and target recidivism rates.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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