Media Contact

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Dorrie Toney, ACLU of Georgia, [email protected]

June 13, 2024

ATLANTA–This Wednesday, a press conference was held on the steps of the Fulton County Jail to announce the formation of the “Community Over Cages” coalition in response to proposals to build a new $2 billion jail. The coalition aims to advocate for humane and effective criminal justice reform in Fulton County.

Community Over Cages brings together community leaders, legal experts, activists, and organizations united by the common goal of shrinking the footprint of the criminal legal system in Fulton County and ensuring the system of confinement is safe, humane, and habitable, while also working to improve conditions within the county jail.

Notable members of the coalition include Color Of Change, Women on the Rise GA, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Black Futurists Group, Southern Center for Human Rights, Legal Action Center, and more.

The press conference provided a platform for the coalition to discuss its mission and goals, and to engage with members of the press and the public in a crucial discussion about criminal justice reform in Fulton County.

“Color Of Change is proud to be a part of this coalition and to be in community with so many advocates who have fought for real progress in Atlanta on criminal justice. For too long, Atlantans have been silenced from the discussion of policing, and jailing. We will not stand idly by and watch the County build a monstrous $2 billion jail,” says Michael Collins, Senior Director of Government Affairs State and Local

The new report is by criminal justice system experts from the Prison Policy Initiative and is an in-depth analysis of the feasibility study that has been used to support the case for a new jail.

The report is available here and: 

  • Demonstrates that overuse of pretrial incarceration is hurting the safety and well-being of Fulton County residents.
  • Outlines the weaknesses of the jail feasibility study, including its failure to take into account falling crime rates, its failure to examine actions the District Attorney’s office could take to lower jail populations, and the failure to seriously consider renovation of the current jail as an alternative to building a new jail. 
  • Examines the issue of staffing shortages at the Fulton County Jail currently, and provides a national perspective on how those issues are likely to persist and possibly worsen if a new jail building is constructed.

“It is vital that Fulton County leaders take time now to review options to building a new jail that have been offered to them for years. Studying and taking action on the findings of the Prison Policy Institute’s report and others will bring immediate and life-saving results to the crisis at the Fulton jail," said Fallon McClure, Deputy Director for Policy & Advocacy at the ACLU of Georgia.

“As healthcare providers in Fulton County, we see ongoing and preventable human rights and public health crises within the county jails. We know that in order to address these dual crises, we must urgently shift from a carceral-centric public safety paradigm towards a prevention focused community based care infrastructure that will enable all Fulton communities to be safe and healthy," said Mark Spencer, MD, Stop Criminalization of Our Patients (SCOOP).

“We should not waste billions of dollars building a new cage to oppress poor Black and Brown folks. Instead, let’s reinvest those same dollars into real solutions by building communities to treat the root cause. This is true investment into the community of Atlanta” said Dominique Grant, Women on The Rise.


Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over 7 million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and governments to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. Visit


Stop Criminalization of Our Patients (SCOOP) is a collective of healthcare students and workers who educate, advocate, and organize for life-affirming, community based interventions and an end to harmful, ineffective carceral systems.


The ACLU of Georgia enhances and defends the civil liberties and rights of all Georgians through legal action, legislative and community advocacy, and civic education and engagement. We are an inclusive, nonpartisan, and statewide organization powered by our members, donors and active volunteers.