Georgia leads US in probation; critics say money is reason

AP News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2015 11:00 AM

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal report says Georgia leads the nation in placing its citizens on probation, a distinction that is now being studied by the state's criminal justice reform experts.

Newly released numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics show that Georgia's probation population at the end of last year was 471,067.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/1I04HCW) that Georgia's number remains the highest in the nation.

Georgia also topped the charts for its probation rate, which was quadruple the national rate and more than double the rate posted by any other state.

The numbers include both felony and misdemeanor cases.

Some in Georgia say the numbers are significantly inflated, but others say the numbers reflect an overuse of probation in Georgia, where courts contract with private probation companies.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com