ATLANTA---We are pleased to invite you to a critical press conference where we will unveil a report by experts at the Prison Policy Initiative debunking the case for a $2 billion jail and will announce the formation of a new coalition of community organizations dedicated to stopping the construction of the new jail

Event Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
  • Time: 9:30 AM
  • Location: On the steps of Fulton County Courthouse - 136 Pryor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Key Speakers:

  • Michael Collins, Senior Director for State and Local Government Affairs, Color Of Change
  • Roberta Meyers Douglas, Vice President of State Strategy and Reentry and Director of National H.I.R.E. Network, Legal Action Center
  • Devin Franklin, Movement Policy Counsel, Southern Center for Human Rights
  • Mark Spencer, M.D., an Internal Medicine physician in Atlanta and Executive Director of Stop Criminalization Of Our Patients.
  • Fallon McClure, Deputy Director for Policy & Advocacy, ACLU of Georgia
  • Devin Barrington-Ward, Managing Director, Black Futurists Group
  • Robyn Hasan-Simpson, Executive Director, Dominique Grant, Campaign & Operations Manager, Women On The Rise

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

The report will: 

  • Demonstrate that overuse of pretrial incarceration is hurting the safety and well-being of Fulton County residents.
  • Outline 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 a new jail. 
  • Examine the issue of staffing shortages at the Fulton County jail currently, and provide a national perspective on how those issues are likely to persist and possibly worsen if a new jail building is constructed.

Formation of the Coalition: In response to proposals to build a new jail, a new coalition  - Community Over Cages - has been formed to advocate for humane and effective criminal justice reform in Fulton County. This coalition 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 and improving conditions within the county jail. The members of the coalition include Women on the Rise GA, Color of Change, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, Black Futurists Group, Southern Center for Human Rights, Legal Action Center, and more.

The speakers will address the key issues highlighted in the report and outline the coalition's action plan. There will be a Q&A session following the press conference.

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance by Tuesday, June 11 by responding to this email or contacting Simona Jones by email at [email protected].

We look forward to your participation in this pivotal event and to working together towards meaningful reform in our criminal justice system.