Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Announces the Reimagining Atlanta City Detention Center Task Force Recommendations
ATLANTA—The Reimagining Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) Task Force submitted to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, its Final Report on recommendations to close and reimagine the use of the Atlanta City Detention Center.
The report reflects the collaborative efforts and thought leadership of local community members, stakeholders and experts who worked over the past year to develop recommendations to transform the Atlanta jail. The facility stands to serve as a beacon of change and a vibrant hub of services that offer equitable opportunity and resources to Atlantans and communities which have been disproportionately impacted by over-incarceration and systemic racism.
“More than a year ago, I signed legislation to begin reforming our approach to public safety through a collaborative process to close and reimagine ACDC as a resource for empowering our communities,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Thank you to the members of this Task Force for your tireless efforts to ensure that all who call Atlanta home have not only a second chance, but for most, a first chance to have access to opportunity. Together, we can build a smarter and fairer system to equip Atlantans with the tools needed for success in the 21st Century.”
In support of community organizers’ call for closure of the jail, as well the declining number of daily inmates and increased operating costs, Mayor Bottoms signed legislation in May 2019 to create the Task Force to reimagine the use of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC).
Mayor Bottoms’ proposed FY21 budget will include an amendment to reduce the Department of Corrections $18.9M to $3.6M until the jail closes; move $13.5M and the majority of the jail staff to the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services to broaden and enhance community-based initiatives; and $1.85M to other City departments.
The Task Force consisted of 52 members from a cross-section of individuals from the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, DeKalb County, service providers, community organizations, residents, the academic community, the business community, the faith community, public safety representatives, and elected officials. The work of the Task Force was led by a Planning Team of individuals from the Mayor’s Office, Women on the Rise, Georgia Works!, Racial Justice Action Center, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, Atlanta-Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion, and Bloomberg Associates. The Planning Team also guided the work of three workgroups — Policy, Program, and Building — whose work was also informed by a review of best practices, decriminalization research & analysis, core program ideation and community engagement.
The recommendations in the Task Force Report includes four design proposals, over 10 City and State statute amendments, and four focused service areas. View the full report at this link.
The Reimagining ACDC Initiative reflects a best practice model for collaborative strategic problem solving and community-driven approaches to addressing mass incarceration, systemic racism, and growing inequality among marginalized communities.
Since taking office, Mayor Bottoms has implemented a number of actions to reform Atlanta’s criminal justice system. In her first month in office, she eliminated cash bond in Atlanta, ensuring that no one languishes in jail because of an inability to pay.
Mayor Bottoms also worked with the City’s Department of Corrections and Department of Watershed Management to establish the City’s Preparing Adult Offenders through Treatment and Therapy (PAT3) program to assist prison inmates with finding jobs.
And most recently, Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order to convene an Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to examine the City’s use of force policies and procedures. The Advisory Council will make recommendations for operational or legislative changes to the City’s existing use of force policies.