Georgia Justice Project will host its legislative kickoff event on Friday, Jan. 20, as the organization prepares to roll out its plans for the 2023 session.

According to a press release, the nonprofit is advocating for various legislative changes in order to prepare more Georgia residents to enter the workforce in coming years.

The hour-long session will cover three reforms that the GJP aims to bring to fruition this year, involving occupational licensing, expungement and victim-centered programs.

First, the Georgia Justice Project plans to facilitate access to occupational licenses and job opportunities for Georgians with minor criminal offenses. According to the project, more than 40% of the state’s adult population has a criminal record, which often acts as a barrier preventing affected residents from finding work. Increasing access to these licenses will increase work opportunities for Georgians, expanding the state’s workforce in the process.

Next, the GJP wants to increase the number of expungements from Georgia residents’ criminal records, making it easier for those with misdemeanors to enter, or re-enter, the job market.

Lastly, the organization aims to grow accessibility to rehabilitation programs like Restorative Justice, which provide a route to correcting criminals alternative to that of traditional punishment. According to the GJP, these programs are far more effective at rehabilitating those who have committed crimes, and prove useful for victims of crimes, as well. Introducing a new evidentiary privilege would allow more rehabilitation programs to surface, and yield more promising results from the criminal justice system.

The Georgia Justice Project has helped pass three state bills into law over the past three years, each working to undo the limitations placed on Georgians with criminal records. 

The event starts at noon. Register to attend online at http://bit.ly/LegislativeKickoff.