New Legislative Subcommittee to Review Prison Safety

Dave Williams

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns Monday announced the creation of a special subcommittee to consider funding recommendations aimed at improving safety in the state’s prison system.

The panel will function as a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

The Georgia Department of Corrections hired a consultant last month to conduct an assessment of Georgia prisons.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the hiring of Chicago-based Guidehouse Inc. a day after an inmate at Smith State Prison in Glennville shot and killed a food-service worker before turning the gun on himself. An investigation revealed the inmate had been involved in a “personal relationship” with the worker.

More than 3,500 assaults between inmates occurred in state prisons between 2021 and last year, according to state prison data, while 98 inmates were killed during that time.

“The General Assembly has placed significant emphasis on improving the safety, security and conditions of our state-operated corrections facilities,” Burns, R-Newington, said Monday.

“With Governor Kemp’s ongoing assessment of Georgia’s prisons, we want to ensure we are prepared to take immediate action when subsequent recommendations and appropriations requests are delivered in January or during the interim.”

The new subcommittee will be headed by Rep. Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin, who chairs the full House Appropriations Committee. The panel will include five Republicans and two Democrats.

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