Criminal Court Backlog Contributes to Rise in Crimes in Georgia

Although the delta variant continues to surge throughout the United States, many businesses and attractions in Georgia have fully opened to the public. However, there has also been a rise in crime throughout the state. 

According to Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, the partial shutdown of the state’s court system during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in crime in Atlanta and other cities. 

In an article by GPB News, he explained the lack of indictments and jury trials has resulted in a backlog of pending criminal cases, causing overcrowding in jails and forcing law enforcement officials to release repeat offenders facing violent crimes charges on bond. 

The following are the number of arrests and citations since April 2021, based on data from the Georgia Department of Public Safety: 

  • 207 reckless driving arrests, 285 DUI arrests, and 7,618 citations from 10,953 traffic stops 

  • 188 arrested on warrants, which include 11 murder suspects 

Yet, the Atlanta Police Department reported a reduction in gun violence, after authorities launched Operation Phoenix—which targeted the most violent offenders—with the FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In addition, there was another successful operation to deter crimes around nightclubs. 

While jury trials in some jurisdictions resumed in April after almost a year of being suspended, the presence of the delta variant has led to another spike in cases. In mid-August, jury trials in Cherokee County and Bibb County were suspended due to a high positive rate among courthouse employees. 

In the meantime, Gov. Brian Kemp has pledged $7 million from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to help finance the Crime Suppression Unit, which is a multi-agency task force he formed in April that is comprised of local police departments to curb the rise in violent crime in and around Atlanta. 

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston has asked to put $75 million toward strengthening police and mental health services in the state. Lastly, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan of the Georgia Senate requested a tax credit worth up to $250 million to be used to combat crime. 

If you have been arrested in Gwinnett County, call Daniels & Taylor, P.C. at (770) 285-1673 or fill out our online contact form today to request a free office consultation. Serving clients in Lawrenceville and beyond since 1994! 

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