Georgia Justice Project’s mission is to reduce the number of Georgians who are under correctional control and remove barriers to reentry. Our four policy priorities for the 2024 legislative session are listed below.  You can learn more about GJP's history and approach to policy in this report.

  • 1 in 6 jobs require an occupational license. Because 40% of adult Georgians have a criminal record, they may be barred from even obtaining the license to work these jobs – even if their record is old, pardoned, or expunged.
  • Georgia can follow the lead of fellow Southern states by giving these residents a fair chance.
  • Learn more about the need for occupational licensing reform and our proposed solutions in our recently published report.
  • After substantial reforms allowed for expungement of certain convictions in 2020, small issues still need to be cleaned up in order to make the law work better for more Georgians.

  • Allowing more than two misdemeanor convictions to be expunged in a person’s life would open opportunity for those with minor records and expand the workforce.

  • Most Georgians are told that cases handled under the First Offender Act will not be available for public view. But current law is ineffective in making this promise a reality.

  • Restricting and sealing First Offender cases at sentencing will offer people who made an isolated mistake the true second chance the Act has aimed to create since 1968.

  • Victim-centered programs are options for crime survivors who seek healing through a facilitated process. Restorative Justice creates paths for accountability and healing.
  • A new evidentiary privilege for victim-centered programs would mirror similar privileges and allow victims who choose these programs an opportunity to heal.

DRIVER’S LICENSES: Fair and Efficient Reinstatements (HB 926)

  • 80% of Georgians drive to work. A suspended driver’s license often means unemployment: about half of people who lose their license lose their job. And yet, 105,000 people have their license suspended each year not for unsafe driving, but for missing a traffic court date.
  • In 2022, GJP helped pass SB 10 to reduce driver’s license suspensions when someone misses court. HB 926 would significantly strengthen that law by ensuring license reinstatement the first time someone reengages the court. It would also eliminate reinstatement fees for low-income drivers.

For more than 35 years, Georgia Justice Project has advocated for individuals and communities affected by the criminal legal system – whether those currently facing charges, preparing to return home from incarceration, or living with an old criminal record. Our experience on the ground with our clients feeds directly into our policy work. Recent accomplishments include:

  • SB 288, Expungement Reform (2020): A coalition of 6 major corporations, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, 77 partner organizations, and legislators from both parties teamed up to pass SB 288, making 1.5 million Georgians eligible for expungement.
  • SB 105, Early Termination of Probation (2021): Georgia has the longest probation sentences in the U.S. SB 105 simplified and standardized early termination of probation.
  • SB 10, Driver’s License Suspensions (2022): Driver’s licenses mean jobs. SB 10 reduces license suspensions and provides a path for reinstatement after missing traffic court.

For more information about our current policy agenda or to share your story, please contact:

Wade Askew, Policy Director

Phone: (404) 827-0027, ext. 214

Email: Wade@GJP.org