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Could Atlanta be on the cusp of a new policing approach?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

In recent months, there has been an increase in demands for defunding the police and other types of criminal justice reform here in Atlanta. This has motivated government officials to brainstorm ways to reduce crime and restore trust in law enforcement. 

One of the main topics up for debate as mayoral candidates campaign for the upcoming November election is crime and policing. Cities like Buckhead want to ensure crime doesn’t increase any further in this largely affluent neighborhood. Factions are protesting the construction of a public safety training facility. Street gangs are also becoming more active, leading to an increase in crime statistics throughout the metro area.

Proposed ways for improving police and resident relations

The Atlanta Police Foundation is trying to tackle the mounting lack of confidence that many residents have in the city’s police force. The foundation aims to establish a bridge between police and philanthropists. They want to fund the creation of more crime-prevention programs that deter young people from getting into trouble and help those with problems already. 

Research shows that many individuals who end up on the wrong side of the law early in life often have difficulty breaking free from a cycle of crime, especially post-conviction. Be branded a felon, for example, makes it challenging for them to secure employment or housing or take part in educational or job training programs. The cycle of crime often continues because these individuals feel like they have no other way to survive. 

The Atlanta Police Foundation’s director suggests that having a youth diversion program that provides participants with privately funded GED training and work skills can significantly impact the trajectories of participants’ lives. They note that law enforcements’ increased investment in their communities, whether they establish mentor relationships with youth and move into high-crime neighborhoods, can have a similar impact.

Foundation officials have already noted that implementing these initiatives over the past three years has resulted in a recidivism rate of only 4%. 

How Atlanta’s transformed policing impacts you

You may think that preserving your freedom is improbable if you’re facing criminal charges, but you likely have more options than you realize. Your participation in a diversion program may help you avoid a potential conviction and get the help you need to lead a more productive life. Weigh these options when deciding how to proceed in your case.