Georgia court upholds private probation law - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Georgia court upholds private probation law

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ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia's highest court has ruled that a Georgia law that allows courts to contract with private probation companies to supervise misdemeanor offenders is constitutional.

The Georgia Supreme Court's unanimous opinion published Monday also says electronic monitoring can be used, but sentences for misdemeanor probationers cannot be lengthened beyond what was originally ordered by the court.

A group of misdemeanor probationers had challenged the law passed by the Georgia Legislature that transferred supervision of misdemeanor probationers from the state Department of Corrections to the counties. Some counties then contracted with for-profit companies.

The probationers claimed that Sentinel Offender Services was illegally requiring electronic monitoring and extending probationers' sentences.

The high court partially affirmed and partially reversed lower court rulings.

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