City of Atlanta
Georgia

Resolution
21-R-3261
Adopted Substitute
Apr 19, 2021 1:00 PM

A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBER MICHAEL JULIAN BOND AS SUBSTITUTED BY THE ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL TO ESTABLISH A WORKING GROUP TO REVIEW, AMEND AND IMPROVE, BUT NOT CONSIDER THE REPEAL OF ORDINANCE 18-O-1045 WHICH INSTITUTED BAIL REFORM IN THE CITY OF ATLANTA; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of Research and Policy AnalysisSponsors:Councilmember, Post 1 At Large Michael Julian Bond
Category:Personal PaperFunctions:None Required

Attachments

  1. Printout

Body

WHEREAS, The City’s bail reform legislation, Ordinance 18-O-1045 was adopted by the City Council on February 5, 2018 and signed into law by the Mayor on February 6, 2018; and

 

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council is supportive of justice reforms and across the country, many cities, counties, and states are moving away from cash bonding as an essential step towards meaningful criminal justice reform; and

 

WHEREAS, the legislation eliminated cash bail to secure release from the City of Atlanta Detention Center following an arrest for violation of most city ordinances and certain misdemeanors; and

 

WHEREAS, previously, requiring cash bail before an initial court hearing resulted in extended detention for many individuals who could not afford bail, although they had not yet been convicted of a crime; and

 

WHEREAS, the City wants to ensure that its criminal justice procedures are constitutional and do not disproportionately punish people who do not have money; and

 

WHEREAS, the Ordinance was intended to alleviate harm inflicted on individuals charged but not convicted of City ordinance violations and certain misdemeanors who may be adversely impacted by pre-trial detention; and

 

WHEREAS, the Ordinance maintains the Court’s ability to impose bail and other conditions for release when violence, failures to appear (FTAs) in court and recidivism are alleged; and

 

WHEREAS, the Municipal Court has reported that since the implementation of the signature bond program through the end of 2020, the number of defendants who are not showing up for court on a signature bond has more than doubled and designated as "failure to appear" or "F T A."; and

 

WHEREAS, In addition, the Municipal Court has also reported that one-in-three individuals who received an "FTA" committed some other act after they had been released; and

 

WHEREAS, the City needs to study whether additional resources are required to ensure that accused persons not detained can more easily report to their court appearances, including considering the adoption of a notification system used by other court systems, such as those used in Athens, Georgia; and

 

WHEREAS, the City needs to further analyze the causes of repeat offenses for violations of municipal ordinances and misdemeanors and determine what steps should be taken to break the cycle of arrest and incarceration for repeat offenders of low level offenses ; and

 

WHEREAS, the Ordinance is intended to protect the Constitutional rights of all persons coming into contact with the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, especially individuals disproportionately harmed by cash bail and ensure that defendants are provided with appropriate legal and social services so that they are not released into the public without the

necessary support and resources to address the issues that brought them in contact with the criminal justice system; and

 

WHEREAS, the Ordinance also authorizes the Office of the Public Defender to provide additional legal and social services so that defendants are not released into the public without the necessary support and resources needed to integrate back into their communities; and

 

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council has a responsibility to ensure that it is supporting public policy that enhances and protects the health and safety of all its residents.

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA, that a Working group is hereby established to review and make recommendations to improve, but not consider the repeal, of Ordinance 18-O-1045 Which instituted bail reform in the City of Atlanta.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Joint Committee shall consist of seventeen (17) members appointed as follows:

 

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

One (1) member shall be the Chief Judge of the Municipal Court or his designee;

Two (2) members shall be additional judges on the Municipal Court;

One (1) member shall be the Chief of Police or his designee;

One (1) member shall be the City Solicitor or his designee;

One (1) member shall be the City Public Defender or his designee;

One (1) member shall be the Chief of the Department of Corrections or his designee;

Three (3) members shall be members of the Atlanta City Council, including the Chair of the

Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee;

One (1) member shall be appointed from a justice reform advocacy group and shall be

appointed by the Mayor;

One (1) member shall be appointed from a crime victim advocacy group; and shall be

appointed by the City Council President;

One (1) member shall be jointly from the City’s Community Improvement Districts (Airport

West, Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (Central Atlanta Progress), Buckhead, Little

Five Points, Midtown Improvement District (Midtown Alliance), West End, and Upper

Westside);

One (1) member shall be from Policing Alternatives & Diversion Initiatives;

One (1) member shall be a direct service provider for people experiencing houselessness and

shall be appointed by the Mayor; and

One (1) member shall be a criminal defense attorney and shall be appointed by the Mayor.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that members of Working Group shall not require Council confirmation.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Working Group shall submit formal recommendations for the consideration of the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee to improve and amend but not repeal Ordinance 18-O-1045 no more than sixty (60) days following adoption of the legislation.

 

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 15, 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 22, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:FAVORABLE [6 TO 1]
MOVER:Michael Julian Bond, Post 1 At Large
SECONDER:Dustin Hillis, District 9
AYES:Joyce M Sheperd, Michael Julian Bond, Carla Smith, Cleta Winslow, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone
NAYS:Amir R Farokhi
Apr 19, 2021 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Council Member Ide made a Motion to bring forth a Substitute for Resolution 21-R-3261. It was Seconded by Council Member Bond and CARRIED Without Objection by Unanimous Consent of Council Members present (14y/0n). The Substitute was then before Council. Following, Council Member Bond made a Motion to Adopt on Substitute. It was Seconded by Council Member Ide and CARRIED by a roll call vote of 14 yeas; 0 nays.

ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 14 YEAS; 0 NAYS

RESULT:ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Michael Julian Bond, Councilmember, Post 1 At Large
SECONDER:Jennifer N. Ide, Councilmember, District 6
AYES:Michael Julian Bond, Matt Westmoreland, Andre Dickens, Carla Smith, Antonio Brown, Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Jennifer N. Ide, Howard Shook, J. P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Joyce M Sheperd
ABSENT:Amir R Farokhi