The Repeat Offender Initiative is a multi-faceted effort to reduce the crime rate of Repeat Offenders (ROs)*, who are estimated to be responsible for more than 30 percent of the crime in Atlanta. The Repeat Offender Commission is comprised of the senior leadership of APD, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Community Supervision (Corrections), Fulton County Superior Court judges, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Atlanta Police Foundation, and several associations that represent the private sector and which provide technological, operational, staffing, and financial support.
- The Repeat Offender Tracking Unit (ROTU) created a process by which relevant information on arrestees is shared with relevant City, County, State and Federal agencies in real time, ensuring a more efficient criminal justice system. In its first year of operation, real-time awareness by judges of arrestees’ criminal history resulted in a 50% increase in ROs with prior convictions of violent felonies being held without bond.
- The ROTU used geospatial mapping to create a real-time heat map that identifies RO hotspots within the City, enabling more strategic surveillance by APD.
- The ROTU’s efforts have enabled APD to identify more than 350 ROs in the City, including 60 gang members, and 110 ROs whose prior convictions make them ineligible to own or carry a firearm.
- Overall, ROTU efforts have provided real-time information to judges that has resulted in a 29% increase in the number of ROs who are held without bond before their trials.
- Court Watch is a program supported by the Repeat Offender Commission whereby citizen volunteers are trained to monitor bond and arraignment hearings and report to the District Attorney’s office whether Repeat Offenders are detained in jail or released on bond prior to their trials. It is designed to spark greater accountability by the Fulton County Justice System in its managing of recidivists.
*According to Georgia law, a Repeat Offender is a person with three prior felony convictions who has now been arrested and charged with a fourth felony.