Atlanta - Georgia’s newest state agency, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS), held its ribbon cutting ceremony today in the Sloppy Floyd Building near the capitol.
Born of recommendations from the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform, DCS represents the next phase in Governor Nathan Deal’s ongoing criminal justice reform efforts.
Governor Deal delivered the keynote address at the event. During his address, Deal outlined the reason for the creation of the new agency.
"The creation of the Department of Community Supervision represents another step forward in advancing our criminal justice reform efforts. With the official opening of this department, Georgia will no longer supervise offenders by what they did but rather by where they live and the unique demands of their surroundings. As a result, we will provide a more efficient system of oversight and support for these families and neighborhoods. Today, we are taking that bold step forward as leaders by launching this new state agency so that Georgia can be safer, more prosperous and an even better place to call home,” said Deal.
When asked about the significance of today’s event, the Commissioner of DCS Michael Nail stated, “we understand and appreciate the importance of what today represents for criminal justice reform in Georgia, but equally as important, we recognize the important work being done by DCS staff and personnel. As the department moves forward, we will remain committed to the highest level of public safety and exceptional service to the citizens of the state of Georgia.”
DCS employs evidence-based practices to hold offenders accountable and reduce the state's recidivism rate. The department utilizes a holistic approach to offender supervision which involves all facets of the community including, but not limited to: victims and their families, programs for offenders and their families, involvement in community activities and partnerships with other criminal justice agencies. The department also provides offenders with opportunities to make positive changes while in the community through individual support, programs and assistance.
Commencing operations on July 1st, 2015 as a part of the executive branch of Georgia’s government, the department is responsible for the supervision of approximately 180,000 adult felony offenders and Class A & B designated juvenile offenders. Some have been granted parole or a reprieve by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, while others have received probated or split sentences through Georgia courts.