GEORGIA – Governor Brian P. Kemp’s Floor Leader Bo Hatchett (R- Cornelia) introduced Senate Bill 44 which addresses gang violence by creating a new offense for recruiting minors to gangs and establishes a mandatory minimum sentencing scheme for all gang offenses.
“Senate Bill 44 is a top priority for my office, along with Governor Kemp and Senator Hatchett,” said Lt. Governor Burt Jones. “This bill is one piece of the overall approach to reaffirm that Georgia will not tolerate gang activity or recruitment. Senate Bill 44 will enact powerful new tools to combat the violent street gangs operating across our state. Governor Kemp’s plan to target gang recruitment of minors will cut off the pipeline of young people being drawn into gangs. I look forward to continuing our work with Governor Kemp and Senator Hatchett to see it through.”
“As I said in my State of the State address, if you come after our children, we will come after you,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “We will not rest when it comes to making our streets safer and ensuring Georgia’s youngest citizens are not recruited into a life of crime that leads either to the prison cell or a cemetery. I’m grateful that our legislative leaders are making this issue a priority and working together to address it.”
“There is no place for gangs in Georgia, and passage of this vital legislation is a top priority,” said Senate Floor Leader Bo Hatchett. “Enhancing gang sentencing across the board will ensure tough prison sentences for more gang offenders while offering a strong incentive for those accused of gang activity to cooperate with prosecutors.”
In addition to targeting gang recruitment, the legislation also requires mandatory minimum sentences for all other gang offenses currently recognized by Georgia law, but would allow the prosecutor and the judge to consider a lower sentence in limited circumstances, including situations in which the defendant renders “substantial assistance” in the identification, arrest, or conviction of other gang associates.
Please use this link to review and track Senate Bill 44.