The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

Georgia Jails Post Lower Populations

| January 28, 2013

Less than one year after implementing smart, conservative sentencing reform, Georgia’s counties are already bearing witness to the benefits.

Last session, Georgia’s legislature decided to reevaluate the sentences for some low-risk, non-violent crimes, and discussed whether public safety dictated that offenders committing those crimes should be locked up. In some cases, there was no benefit to public safety in jailing those offenders, and in fact the high costs outweighed any perceived benefit.

As a result, today, out of 37,000 county jail beds in Georgia, 10,000 of them are vacant.

This reduction in jail bed usage means that counties and local governments are saving substantial amounts of taxpayer dollars. Jail beds can cost between $25 and $50 per day, and each day that each bed isn’t being unnecessarily filled equates to significant savings in county budgets.

Furthermore, those beds are now available for serious and violent offenders who do need to be locked up, bolstering public safety across the state. Finally, reducing population pressures can result in safer in-facility conditions for staff and a greater ability to keep order.


RIGHT ON CRIME is a national campaign to promote successful, conservative solutions on American criminal justice policy—reforming the system to ensure public safety, shrink government, and save taxpayers money. By sharing research and policy ideas and mobilizing strong conservative voices, we work to raise awareness of the growing support for effective reforms within the conservative movement. We are transforming the debate on criminal justice in America.