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As Governor Pushes Prison Reforms, House Subcommittee Forms to Examine Changes

File inside jail
File inside jail.

The Georgia Department of Corrections, which supervises over 40,000 inmates, is currently under review by the state at the request of Governor Brian Kemp. A new subcommittee in the Georgia House has been formed to look at how to fit potential reforms into the state’s budget.

This week, state Speaker of the House Jon Burns (R-Newington), named Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin), as the chairman of the new House Special Subcommittee of Appropriations on State Prisons. Hatchett is also the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and has been serving in the legislature since 2010.

The subcommittee will examine how changes aimed at making prisons safer for inmates, guards, and the public will impact state spending as some lawmakers warn of leaner times ahead.

These expected changes are a part of a larger public safety push in recent years, which has seen more funding for law enforcement.

Kemp announced in mid-June that a study would be launched examining the Georgia Department of Corrections, or GDC. According to the Governor’s office, the study will make recommendations for the department, which has already cracked down on contraband. According to GDC Commissioner Tyrone Oliver, $7 million worth of contraband has been removed from state prisons.

The state has partnered with consulting firm Guidehouse to complete the study, which is expected to take about a year.

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