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  SAC Spotlight: Georgia

Recent Publications

Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Impact Evaluation. At the end of 2014, Applied Research Services completed a report about the impact that multijurisdictional drug task forces have had on drug crime in Georgia. Findings of note include:

  • Drug task force member agencies felt their task forces had high levels of collaboration, their commanders were particularly effective, and they felt their work was meaningfully affecting drug crime;

  • When comparing counties with and without taskforces, those with drug taskforces had higher arrest rates for young, violent, chronic offenders with long drug distribution histories;

  • Survey respondents and interviewees stated their greatest concern was funding and sustainability;

  • The presence of a drug task force in counties did not seem to have an effect on total violent or property arrest rates.

Statewide Accountability Court Funding Use and Needs Survey. In June 2013, the Georgia SAC launched a project to survey and interview judges and court coordinators on behalf of the Accountability Court Funding Committee. The goal was to determine current needs for services and funding in Georgia's state-funded accountability courts. Data analysis found that courts are operating at 85% capacity-in part due to staff and treatment shortages. Offenders attending accountability courts face significant barriers, which may preclude some eligible participants from receiving the assistance they need. Such barriers include a lack of readily accessible transportation, housing, and employment.

Human Trafficking Victim Services Needs Assessment. CJCC, in partnership with the Governor's Office for Children and Families, conducted a survey-based statewide assessment of the extent and impact that human trafficking has on victim service providers in Georgia. This assessment was designed to coincide with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) survey of law enforcement agencies in an effort to conduct a collaborative and comprehensive study of the issue in Georgia. CJCC reached out to victim service providers in the state to gather information on the volume of human trafficking victims they encounter and the services they provide. A survey designed to assess whether an agency had served human trafficking victims was sent to 251 victim service provider agencies in Georgia between June and August 2013, with 175 recipients completing the survey.

Agencies that responded to CJCC's survey were most commonly Victim Witness Assistance Programs and Court Appointed Special Advocates, while other common respondents included Shelter-Based Domestic Violence Services Providers and Child Advocacy Centers. While statewide coverage with respect to service areas does not seem to be an issue among victim service agencies, very few agencies in our population had a program specifically targeted toward human trafficking victims. Only 15 of the 175 victim service agency respondents stated they had a program specifically for human trafficking victims, but 40 agencies (22.9%) served at least one human trafficking victim. Child advocacy centers most frequently served victims - regardless of whether the agencies have a program specific to human trafficking. State or local law enforcement agencies were the most frequently cited referral source among the 40 respondents who served trafficking victims in CY2012. These 40 victim services agencies served 518 victims.

Atlanta Project Safe Neighborhoods Violent Repeat Offender List Case Study. Dr. Tammy Meredith of Applied Research Services wrote the first Violent Repeat Offender methodology brief and case study for the SAC in September 2013. Dr. Meredith describes the "credit score" methodology for offender criminal careers, which is the backbone of the violent repeat offender list. Dr. Meredith and Dr. John Speir developed this "credit score" methodology using offender computerized criminal history for a Hoke Award-winning report on the Georgia SAC's behalf in 2001. The Violent Repeat Offender committee of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia used this list for targeted prosecution of 150 offenders in the Atlanta-metro area who had amassed on average 19 arrests each.

Georgia Drug Arrest Trend Study: A Supply-Side Theory Analysis. Dr. John Speir of Applied Research Services analyzed over 20 years of computerized criminal history data to determine whether- based on arrestee characteristics-supply-side enforcement has had an impact on the drug market. Dr. Speir analyzed whether:

  • arrestees have differing rates of participation in drug crime over time because of the effectiveness of supply-side enforcement; high "costs" created by limited supply due to enforcement efforts would create barriers to market entry;

  • the arrest rate stabilizes or increases for chronic drug arrestees who are both willing to pay more for drugs and risk greater enforcement;

  • arrestees are getting older-which ties into the above question about chronic drug arrestees; and

  • first-time arrestees differ in economically depressed counties where law enforcement and treatment are less coordinated.

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