Project Goals

Over the course of the project, the UGA research team will conduct research in partnership with up to 15  rural jurisdictions in order to:

  • Gather and analyze administrative jail data (and, if possible, data from other justice and social services agencies) from select rural counties throughout Georgia.
    • These data will help us answer questions, such as:

      • How pretrial decision-making and practices, including arrest, charging, and bail, affect the jail population (including admissions and length of stay);
      • How case processing, sentencing and supervision practices affect the jail population (including admissions and length of stay);
      • How jail beds are used (e.g. misdemeanors, felonies, probation violations, contracts with other agencies)
  • Build knowledge of specific local criminal justice issues – especially factors affecting jail population trends – facing rural counties through data analysis and conversations with local prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, and other county representatives.

    • This will help us discern how different agencies, policies, and practices across the jurisdiction affect jail populations. We will explore how other local factors (political economy, social services, transportation, etc.) affect the jail population.

  • Share lessons from research and data analysis with local representatives and stakeholders.

  • Convene representatives from rural counties for roundtable discussions.

  • Demonstrate a realistic, inclusive process for data-driven reform that other rural counties can follow.