Forward Justice Initiative

“…Do Justly,… love mercy, …walk humbly with your God”
Micah 6:8

Sign Our Pledge!

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The Douglass Leadership Institute, in partnership with businesses and community groups, is doing something to address the imbalances within our criminal justice system while defending law and order. Our goal is to see a fairer system for all citizens that still works to keep our neighborhoods safe.

Our Strategy

Our organization is tracking key Georgia legislation pertaining to criminal justices and its impact on society.  We are also listening to community leaders, key stakeholders, and citizens to determine new proposals that will positively influence those caught up in the justice system as well as society at large.  We are committed to see justice and mercy find their proper balance in every facet of Georgia’s criminal justice system.  Faith and community leaders can help us in our mission by:

  1. Signing the pledge of support on this page
  2. Hosting information sessions around the issue
  3. Promoting changes in our system as well as personal behavior

Our society will only improve and prosper when we take a stand for both righteousness and justice in our nation.  It is our duty as citizens.  Get informed and involved to foster peace, fairness, and community in our neighborhoods.

New GA Criminal Justice Legislation

  • Georgia has one of the largest and most stringent parole systems in the nation.
  • As of 2021, GA had 440,000 people on probation (2nd highest per capita in the U.S.)
  • GA also has disproportionately lengthy probation sentences with some being up to 3 years even for non-violent offenses.
  • On average, a GA parole officer has 250 open cases which is 3x the national rate.
  • Failing a drug test doesn’t normally send someone to prison, unless they are on probation.
  • Probation can be costly ranging in fees for probation officers to drug testing.
  • After passage of new law, 140,000 incarcerated people were immediately eligible for parole
  • As of today, at least 18,000 more have successfully ended their parole sentence because of the new regulations.
  • DLI believes revoking driver’s licenses is counterproductive to being a productive citizen.
  • There is a provision in the bill which would end the suspension of driver’s licenses for small infractions such as Failure To Appear (FTA).  This allows citizens to continue to be able to provide for their families, even if they have made a minor mistake in the criminal justice system.
  • An opportunity for people who have committed certain misdemeanors to seal their records which can assist with gaining employment.
  • The Georgia Tax Credit scholarship was increased from $100 million to $120 million which would help and additional 4,000 students.  This expansion can give many minority students a chance at a better education.  Georgia also increased funding for public charter schools from $5 million to $8.5 million.  Quality educational access can help to limit the school to prison pipeline often found in many urban communities.
  • DLI fully supports educational choice and the rights of parents to decide where and how their children are educated.  We find that this choice increases family participation, student learning outcomes, and goal-oriented behavior which lessens involvement in the criminal justice system.  We hope that the expansion of the Georgia Educational Opportunity scholarship and other school choice measures will pass in the future.
  • During the 2022 legislative session, the state increased the opportunity scholarships by $20 million.  This expansion of these scholarships which will be prevalently available to minority and underprivileged students and can help to lower the school to prison pipeline.

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