Newly-elected Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) announced Monday in his inaugural address that putting drug addicts and abusers in jail was placing an unsustainable financial and civic burden on his state.
Here are his comments about drug enforcement, from The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
For violent and repeat offenders, we will make you pay for your crimes. For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide the opportunity to do so with Day Reporting Centers, Drug, DUI and Mental Health Courts and expanded probation and treatment options. As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce.
According to a 2009 Office of National Drug Control Policy report, approximately 17% of Georgia's 53,268 prisoners had drug-related offenses listed as their primary offense. Approximately 21% of the active inmate population of the Georgia Department of Corrections also reported a drug abuse problem as of September 2009.
For more on how much it costs to jail inmates, take a look at the Justice Atlas of Sentencing and Corrections, a tool that allows users to calculate corrections expenses in their area by inputting a zip code.