This report from Georgia’s Council of Accountability Court Judges highlights the role that accountability courts—such as drug, mental health, veterans treatment, and other courts—play in reducing recidivism in Georgia.
In fiscal year 2017, 1,729 people graduated from accountability courts in Georgia, saving the state nearly $5,000 per person as compared to the cost of incarceration. The report also shows that recidivism rates for participants in these courts are anywhere from 10 to 17 percent lower than for non-participants. As of July 1, 2018, Georgia had 156 accountability courts across the state with nearly 10,000 participants.
Accountability courts serve as a form of alternative sentencing, when appropriate, for people who have mental illnesses and/or substance addictions. In lieu of incarceration, participants receive treatment, counseling, and intensive supervision designed to break the cycle of reoffending that is often fueled by behavioral health conditions.