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Gov. Deal creates justice reform task force | News

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Gov. Deal creates justice reform task force

Rabbi Larry Schlesinger of Temple Beth Israel in Macon says tackling Georgia's issues with its criminal justice system is also a moral issue.

Georgia has the fourth largest prison population in the country, despite being 10th in overall population. Many people leave jail and have trouble finding jobs.

"There's a Jewish saying that the sword, or violence comes into the world because of justice delayed or justice denied," Schlesinger says.

Schlesinger is one of 14 clergy members chosen from across the state to serve on an interfaith task force created by Governor Nathan Deal designed to build on some of the state's justice reform initiatives.

"We believe that there's an important element that the religious community can play in making a transition for a person smoother and making sure that they are successful in their re-entry into society," the governor said.

One of the governor's initiatives is creating a certificate of rehabilitation that could be earned in jail and use to present to potential employers.

Other topics the task force is likely to discuss include education reform and child welfare.

Schlesinger was the only representative of the Jewish community appointed to the panel, and one of two from Macon ; the other is Pastor Tony Lowden of Lundy Chapel Baptist Church.

Their first meeting is scheduled some time in the middle of May.

Follow 13WMAZ's Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge.


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