By KATE BRUMBACK
Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - A nearly three-decade veteran of the bench, Georgia's top judge is an advocate for alternatives to locking people up and thinks the state is on the right track on criminal justice reform.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein says imprisoning people harms their ability to get work once they're released, making it difficult for them to be productive members of society.

She was part of a panel that recommended changes to the Legislature, resulting in the adoption this year of legislation to overhaul the criminal justice system to provide alternative sentences for nonviolent offenders.

She's also involved in looking at ways to reform the juvenile justice system. She says teenagers don't always make the best decisions, but locking them up can make it more likely they'll commit future crimes.

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