Georgia leads the nation in probation supervision, which has been the subject of recent legislative reforms. Probation supervision is the primary mechanism for monitoring and collecting legal financial obligations (LFOs) from people sentenced in Georgia courts. This Article analyzes how monetary sanctions and probation supervision intersect in Georgia using quantitative data from the Department of Community Supervision as well as interviews with probationers and probation officers gathered as part of the Multi-State Study of Monetary Sanctions between 2015 and 2018. Several key findings emerge: (1) there is substantial variation between judicial districts in the amount of fines and fees ordered to felony probationers in Georgia, with fines and fees in rural areas much higher than those in urban areas; (2) probationers express fear of incarceration solely for lack of ability to pay; (3) probation officers consider collecting LFOs as a distraction from their true mission of public safety; and (4) both probationers and probation officers question the purpose, effectiveness, and fairness of monetary sanctions in Georgia. This Article concludes with a discussion of reforms to date and further options for reform based on the findings from this research.
"Probation and Monetary Sanctions in Georgia: Evidence from a Multi-Method Study,"
Georgia Law Review: Vol. 54:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/glr/vol54/iss4/4