City of Atlanta
Georgia

Resolution
21-R-3213
Held in Committee
May 10, 2021 2:00 PM

A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBERS AMIR R. FAROHKI AND CARLA SMITH TO ACCEPT AND ADOPT AN OFFICIAL JUSTICE REFORMS PLAN WHICH IS FOCUSED ON STOPPING OVER INCARCERATION AND FINDING REAL SOLUTIONS TO EQUITY IN OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM, (THE S.A.F.E. PLAN) AND CONTAINS THE FINAL POLICY AND OPERATIONAL DECISIONS NECESSARY TO MAKE THE CITY OF ATLANTA SAFER, MORE EQUITABLE, AND TO ACCOMPLISH THE ULTIMATE CLOSURE OF THE ATLANTA CITY DETENTION CENTER WITHIN THE NEXT 15 MONTHS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of the Municipal ClerkSponsors:Councilmember, District 2 Amir R Farokhi, Councilmember, District 1 Carla Smith
Category:Personal PaperFunctions:None Required

Attachments

  1. Resolution_Justice Reforms Plan_Exhibit A

Item Discussion

(Held 3/8/21 at the request of the administration)

Body

WHEREAS, since the 1950s, the City of Atlanta has operated a municipal jail and in 1995, opened the 1300-bed Atlanta City Detention Center ("ACDC"); and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta has taken important steps toward reforming our public safety, community health, immigrant justice, and criminal justice systems to better reflect our values of equity, inclusion, justice, and effectiveness; and

 

WHEREAS, the reforms of Pre-Arrest Diversion, Marijuana Reclassification, and Bail Reform have been 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 instead provide vital community-based services and supports; and

 

WHEREAS, these reforms have also led to a significant decline in the average daily population inside the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC), the city's jail that holds people accused of violations of city ordinances and certain state criminal misdemeanors, including traffic violations; and

 

WHEREAS, on September 6, 2018, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an Executive Order to end the decades-long contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and transfer all remaining immigrant detainees out of ACDC; and

 

WHEREAS, this these reforms have led to a significant reduction in the average daily population in the jail; and

 

WHEREAS, this reduction presented the City with an unparalleled opportunity to transform ACDC for the benefit of all Atlanta residents, especially our most vulnerable; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta believes that the closure of ACDC, the repurposing the location to benefit the community, and the reinvestment of related funds into existing and new initiatives, services and programs that enhance the quality of life for all residents will make Atlanta a stronger city; and

 

WHEREAS, this review has also included an examination of municipal ordinances with consideration for a phased approach of modernizing and revising ordinances, which will result in a reduction of the city’s inmate population; and

 

WHEREAS, since 2019, the City of Atlanta has recognized that the planning and implementation of the ACDC closure should be done carefully and thoughtfully to ensure the public safety of the City, and to minimize any negative impact to the City, including Department of Corrections employees and any others who would be affected by the closure; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Bottoms’ Administration’s planning related to the ACDC closure, has included consideration of the possibilities regarding the potential uses of the ACDC site, the potential for a continued need by the City of Atlanta to detain and incarcerate persons in a municipal facility as a result of state law, and the potential affects the policy recommendations would have to public safety and the future operations of the Municipal Court, the City Solicitor’s Office, and the Public Defender’s Office; and

WHEREAS, this review has also included an examination of municipal ordinances with consideration for a phased approach of modernizing and revising ordinances, which will result in a reduction of the city’s inmate population; and

WHEREAS, as a result of this consideration, it is clear that before the City may proceed towards the final actions necessary to accomplish the ultimate closure of ACDC, there are several important policy and operational decisions for the City of Atlanta to consider and adopt; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of the City of Atlanta to make these decisions, to facilitate authorization of the necessary funding and agreements necessary to allow for the closure of ACDC, as soon as practicable; and

WHEREAS, the Atlanta City Council, as the governing body of the City of Atlanta, convened and participated in a series of work sessions led by the Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee, and its Chair, the Honorable Joyce Sheperd where in justice reform plans were discussed; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of an official justice reforms plan containing the final policy and operational decisions is necessary to support the closure and repurposing of ACDC within the next 15 months; and

WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta is also collaborating with Fulton County and other partners on additional funding and services that align with the justice reforms plan, meet the needs of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County, and will be offered upon the closure of ACDC; and

WHEREAS, accordingly, it is the desire of the Atlanta City Council to accept and adopt the official Justice Reforms Plan, described specifically in Exhibit ‘A’ attached hereto; and 

WHEREAS, thereafter, and as a result of the discussions during the work sessions and Mayor Bottoms’ Administration’s planning related to the ACDC closure, additional legislation will be subsequently introduced to the City Council in accordance with the justice reforms plan to move forward with the formal and detailed authorizations needed to change the municipal code, fund projects, and enter agreements.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA, GEORGIA, that the City of Atlanta believes that the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC), the repurposing of the location to benefit the community, and the reinvestment of related funds into existing and new initiatives, services and programs that enhance the quality of life for all residents will make Atlanta a stronger city.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council hereby accepts and adopts the official Justice Reform Plan related to the closure of ACDC, attached hereto as Exhibit ‘A’.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Justice Reform Plan accepted and adopted in accordance herewith contains the final policy and operational decisions necessary to make the City of Atlanta safer, more equitable, and to accomplish the ultimate closure of ACDC within the next 15 months.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall be effective immediately upon approval.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that any resolution in conflict with this resolution is hereby waived to the extent of the conflict.

_____


EXHIBIT A

 

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

Note: legislation was inadvertently entered as an ordinance (21-O-0137); however, item was corrected to reflect as a resolution.

Mar 8, 2021 2:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE [5 TO 1]
MOVER:Amir R Farokhi, District 2
SECONDER:Carla Smith, District 1
AYES:Joyce M Sheperd, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone
NAYS:Michael Julian Bond
ABSENT:Cleta Winslow
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

MEMBERS PRESENT: SHEPERD, BOND, SMITH, FAROKHI, HILLIS & BOONE

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
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

MEMBERS PRESENT: SHEPERD, BOND, SMITH, FAROKHI, WINSLOW, HILLIS & BOONE

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
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