Gov. Nathan Deal signed SB 367, legislation that provides for comprehensive reform for offenders entering, proceeding through and leaving the criminal justice system, into law. This legislation, which is based on recommendations from the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform, builds upon Deal’s previous criminal justice reform initiatives. “This legislation is the latest step in advancing our criminal justice reforms,” Deal said. “Along with restoring the original intent of the First Offender Act, this bill increases access to charter schools in our prison system and seeks to address the ‘school to prison pipeline.’ According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, as a result of the reforms previously passed by the legislature, Georgia’s overall prison population has decreased to roughly 53,800 inmates as of March 31. The percentage of those incarcerated for a non-violent first offense has significantly dropped, and prison beds are now reserved for violent criminals.