RESOLUTION BY THE 2016 ANNUAL COUNCIL OF THE DIOCESE OF ATLANTA
Praying for “leaders of our communities, our church, our country and our world, that they may make decisions that are in accord with God’s commandments that bring life, justice and peace,” Reclaiming Hope through Remembering (Macon, Georgia Oct. 22, 2016), and that they may have all necessary resources of courage, wisdom, and steadfastness to overcome inertia, it is
RESOLVED that the Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta urge the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council to look to the experience of the 22 States that have already reclassified traffic offenses out of the criminal code and to persevere with the effort to bring this reform to Georgia.
RESOLVED that the Secretary of Council be directed to send a copy of this resolution, with Explanation, to the co-chairs of the Reform Council and to the members of the Reform Council and its subcommittees.
I. Some history.
In 2011-12, the Georgia Criminal Justice Reform Council recommended to the Georgia General Assembly that certain traffic offenses be converted from criminal offenses to civil infractions, or violations. At that time, the Reform Council recommendation was presented largely as a cost-saving measure that holds the potential to unclog the courts while preserving or even enhancing public safety.
In 2012, the Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta adopted the following resolution:
Resolved, that the 106th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta support the decriminalization of minor traffic offenses in the state of Georgia, turning them into civil violations . . . .
The Reform Council’s criminal-to-civil conversion recommendation was not adopted in the ensuing legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.