Deal’s Plans to Reform How Ex-Offenders Rejoin Society Praised

Dec 27, 2013

State Senator Buddy Carter (R-Pooler)
Credit Georgia Senate

    A key state lawmaker is applauding Gov. Nathan Deal’s plans for a third wave of criminal justice reforms, but says certain proposals the governor has ruled out should remain on the table.

Republican State Sen. Buddy Carter, who chairs the Senate Public Safety committee, said Deal’s plans are a good start to help make re-entering society easier for nonviolent ex-offenders.

“Trying to get people and helping them when they’re first getting out is a step in the right direction. There’s no question about that,” Carter said. “And I think the governor acknowledges we can do a better job than we’ve been doing in the past.”

Deal’s plan includes hiring more officials to help ex-offenders find housing and barring some state agencies from automatically disqualifying job applicants with a criminal record. However, it stops short of more contentious suggestions – like offering incentives to companies who hire ex-offenders and more money for job training.

The governor said last week he doesn’t want to give those who’ve broken the law a job search advantage.

Carter, however, said those items should be among the proposals the governor considers.

“It’s certainly something that should be in the discussion and should be on the table to be considered,” Carter said.

The governor will lay out more specifics on his planned reforms in his state of the state address next month.