City of Atlanta
Georgia

Resolution
21-R-3212
Held in Committee
May 10, 2021 2:00 PM

****A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS MICHAEL JULIAN BOND, HOWARD SHOOK, DUSTIN HILLIS AND J. P. MATZIGKEIT TO ESTABLISH A CITY OF ATLANTA-FULTON COUNTY JOINT COMMITTEE CONSISTING OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE CITY OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY TO DEVELOP A FRAMEWORK TO ASSIST THE FULTON COUNTY SHERIFF WITH SEVERE OVERCROWDING AT THE FULTON COUNTY JAIL; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of Research and Policy AnalysisSponsors:Councilmember, Post 1 At Large Michael Julian Bond, Councilmember, District 9 Dustin Hillis, Councilmember, District 7 Howard Shook
Category:Personal PaperFunctions:None Required

Item Discussion

(This legislation is a dual referred item and will be forwarded to Finance/Executive Committee pending a Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee recommendation) (Held 3/8/21 at the request of the Committee)

Body

 

WHEREAS, On September 6, 2018, the Mayor signed an Executive Order to end the City’s decades-long contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and transfer all remaining immigrant detainees out of the Atlanta City Detention Center; and

 

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council has adopted legislation in support of criminal justice reforms including the expansion of pre-arrest diversion, de-criminalization of marijuana through reclassification, and bail reform,  as necessary steps toward a shared commitment to end the use of arrest and jail as solutions to the problems of extreme poverty, addiction, and mental health challenges; and

 

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Detention Center, an 11-story, 471,000 square foot facility, which has the capacity to hold approximately 1,300 detainees, currently has an average daily population of approximately 150 people or less; and

 

WHEREAS,  the City proactively adopted criminal justice reforms which have led to a significant decline in the average daily population inside the Atlanta City Detention Center, the facility typically holds individuals accused of violations of city ordinances and traffic violations; however,  crime overall in the City has increased and this has led to a severe overcrowding in the Fulton County Jail; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta and Fulton County are committed to keeping all of our residents safe; and

 

WHEREAS, the City and Fulton County have a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between restorative justice and social change resulting in enhanced public safety; and

 

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council is committed to a strong, collaborative relationship  between the City of Atlanta and Fulton County and a deepening City/County partnership so as to enhance public safety, improve quality of life, improve conditions for pretrial detainees in Atlanta, and expand wraparound services to include vocational training and education, housing, community-based mental health services and case management to ensure successful reintegration; and

 

WHEREAS, there are numerous areas of potential collaboration with the Board of Commissioners, Fulton County Sheriff, and other justice partners; and

 

WHEREAS, due to excessive crowing conditions at the Fulton County Jail and the lack of adequate bed space hundreds of detainees sleeping are forced to sleep in “boats” on the jail floor; and

 

WHEREAS, the Fulton County Jail also remains the largest de facto mental health facility in the metro Atlanta area; and

 

WHEREAS, despite the current crisis at the Fulton County Jail the Atlanta City Detention Center sits mostly empty; and

 

WHEREAS, by partnering with Fulton County, the City of Atlanta could save an estimated $18 million dollars, get out of the corrections business while also underscoring the city's commitment to public safety to ensure services continue to be provided while not double-taxing residents of Atlanta & Fulton County; and

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA, that a City of Atlanta-Fulton County Joint Committee is hereby established to help develop a framework to assist the Fulton County Sheriff with severe overcrowding at the Fulton County Jail.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Committee shall consist of twelve (12) members appointed as follows: 

·              One (1) member shall be the Mayor or her designee;

·              One (1) member shall be the Council President or her designee;

·              One (1) member shall be the Public Safety/Legal Administration Committee Chair;

·              Two (2) members shall be members of the Atlanta City Council;

·              One (1) member shall be a Judge from Fulton County Superior Court; 

·              One (1) member shall  be the Chief Judge of the Atlanta Municipal Court; 

·              One (1) member shall be a Judge from the Atlanta Municipal Court;

·              Three (3) members of the Fulton County Commission; and

·              One (1) member shall be the  Fulton County Sheriff or his designee.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members of Joint Committee shall not require Council confirmation.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Joint Committee shall submit formal recommendations to alleviate the overcrowding conditions at the Fulton County Jail to the Atlanta City Council and the Fulton County Commission no more than sixty (60) days following its first meeting. 

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that areas of focus for the Joint Committee shall include, but

not be limited to the potential lease or sale of the Atlanta City Detention Center to Fulton County, and the expansion of wrap around services for pretrial detainees.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Atlanta Municipal Clerk is authorized and directed to provide a copy of this resolution  to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners and the Office of the Fulton County Sheriff upon adoption.

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that all resolutions and parts of resolutions in conflict herewith are hereby waived to the extent of the conflict. 

 

 

Meeting History

Mar 1, 2021 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

REFERRED TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:REFERRED WITHOUT OBJECTION
Mar 8, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE
Mar 10, 2021 1:30 PM Video Finance/Executive Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
Mar 15, 2021 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Mar 22, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE
Mar 24, 2021 1:30 PM Video Finance/Executive Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft

No Action Required. This item is being held in the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee.

Apr 19, 2021 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Apr 26, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE
Apr 28, 2021 1:30 PM Video Finance/Executive Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft

No Action Required. This item is being held in Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee.

May 3, 2021 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
May 10, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE