Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed legislation authorizing the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC). With a declining number of inmates housed and increased operating costs, Mayor Bottoms called for the closing of ACDC last year.
Last week, the Atlanta City Council adopted a resolution introduced by Councilmember Andre Dickens on behalf of Mayor Bottoms’ Administration establishing a Task Force to repurpose ACDC.
“The final closure of this Detention Center symbolizes a new era for the city of Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms.
“Transforming this space into a Center for Equity replaces City-subsidized incarceration with something more effective—equipping residents with the tools they need to succeed. Taking this critical step will both result in meaningful change for Atlanta and set a new standard for the rest of the nation.”
Community organizations and activists have also been instrumental in working with city leaders to push for positive reform.
“Today, we are making history,” said Marilynn Winn, a formerly incarcerated woman and Director of Women on the Rise and Close the Jail ATL: Communities Over Cages Campaign. “Formerly incarcerated women are standing side by side with the Mayor and City Council to lead the nation’s first ever jail to equity center. This legislation is a major step toward Atlanta becoming a city that chooses services not sentences, solutions not punishments.”
The mission of the Task Force is to determine how the detention center could be operated in a way that would benefit the entire community and serve as a Center for Equity.
Bottoms will publicly post a solicitation of nominations of additional individuals who would like to be considered to serve on the Task Force. She will select not more than 25 individuals representing diverse professional backgrounds, according to a release from the City of Atlanta.
Additional representatives of city government whose input should be considered in the deliberations of the Task Force may be added.
Closing the Atlanta City Detention Center is one of many steps the mayor has taken to actively improve the city of Atlanta’s criminal justice system.
In her first 100 days, Bottoms introduced a new program, “Preparing Adult Offenders through Treatment and Therapy” (PAT3) to assist prison inmates with finding jobs.
In addition to eliminating cash bond in the city of Atlanta, Bottoms also issued an Executive Order directing the Chief of ACDC to take the necessary action to permanently stop receiving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees under the current agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service.