The City of Atlanta is committed to serving as a national leader in achieving meaningful criminal justice reform. Comprehensive actions in the areas of police reform and justice reform are essential to move our city forward. Atlanta accepted President Obama’s call-to-action, and we continue to strive to make holistic reforms to our criminal justice system, including through the closing and reimagining of the City’s detention center.
We are forging a new day in Atlanta, where our police officers can live and thrive in the communities they serve and where we can collectively evaluate the way our justice system works.
The City of Atlanta has taken bold steps – through both legislative action and innovative programming – to address systemic racism within the criminal justice system.
A community-led initiative to turn the current city jail into a Center for Equity, realized through Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ transformational vision. It holds the potential to be a national model in the US, providing increased resources, wellness, and healing for the community.
Continuing progress toward development of the Center for Diversion and Services, Grady Hospital was recently selected to operate the Diversion Center on a 24/7 basis. Grady will collaborate with core partners including the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia Justice Project (GJP), and the Policing Alternatives and Diversion Initiative (PAD). The Diversion Center will offer 24/7 pre-arrest law enforcement drop-off for individuals experiencing concerns related to homelessness, mental health, substance use, and/or poverty and will be located within the 254 Peachtree St., SW building. Aiming to reduce arrest and jail and empower individuals with tools and resources to move forward positively, Diversion Center guests will be welcomed by a peer-led team and receive a holistic, person-centered set of services. Some of those services will include mental and physical health assessments, basic medical care (with transportation to Grady’s main campus for acute needs), sobering and resting spaces, and access to food, clothing, bathrooms, showers, and laundry services. Guests will also work with PAD peer navigators to create a long-term care plan outlining access to a wider range of on- and off-site services, some of which will include legal navigation (including outstanding warrant resolution), housing support, substance use and/or residential treatment, job-related resources, and more. Grady, serving as the operator, will manage the Diversion Center on a daily basis, including coordination of the above services among all on- and off-site partners. Grady was selected after a months-long open and competitive procurement process, which included an evaluation team of partners and subject matter experts from the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, and other relevant organizations and service providers. The Atlanta City Council adopted a resolution confirming Grady as the operator on January 3, 2023. Grady will provide regular impact and performance reports to the Diversion Center’s oversight body, the Justice Policy Board. The Diversion Center is slated to open in spring 2024, with construction beginning by March 2023. Throughout 2023, Grady will lead continued Diversion Center pre-opening development, including developing a Warrant Resolution Clinic (in close partnership with GJP), training law enforcement and Diversion Center staff, finalizing on-site operational protocol, building out a case management system, collaborating with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on indoor and outdoor public art, overseeing construction and landscaping, and establishing an off-site referral network. Stay tuned for additional updates in the coming months!
In November 2020, the City of Atlanta, through the Atlanta Committee for Progress, engaged the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and APD Urban Planning and Management (APD Urban) to conduct a comprehensive study of Atlanta Police Department (APD) policies and practices and develop a community engagement plan.
Through collaborative efforts, the City of Atlanta and Fulton County recently established a strategic partnership that will create and fund a 24/7 pre-arrest Center for Diversion and Services.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms launched two initiatives per her Administrative Orders related to the Mayor’s Use of Force Advisory Council recommendations: a public use of force dashboard and a video evidence submittal portal.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced that the Mayor’s Anti-Violence Advisory Council has delivered its recommendations for immediate and long-term actions to address the current wave of violent crime.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has convened an impressive Anti-Violence Advisory Council to address violent crime in Atlanta. The council—comprised of community members and partners—will review the City’s plans to address violent crime and report immediate recommendations to Mayor Bottoms within 45 days.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms released the One Atlanta: One APD Immediate Action Plan to address violent crime in the city. The Plan is part of a broader effort focused on bolstering support for the Atlanta Police Department and reforming policing in the city.
Mayor’s Office staff presented to City Council during a Public Safety Committee Work Session to provide a status update on Use of Force Advisory Council recommendations, the process for implementing recommendations, and the path forward.
Mayor Bottoms announces that the City of Atlanta has engaged the services of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and a local planning and community engagement firm, Urban Planning and Management.
Upon receiving the Advisory Council’s early action recommendations, Mayor Bottoms immediately issued three Administrative Orders and submitted a letter to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board (ACRB) to take action on these recommendations.
Despite the major challenges posed by COVID-19, the Mayor’s budget continues to increase equity across communities, expand opportunities to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents, and provide relief and recovery assistance to those affected by the pandemic.
Mayor Bottoms issued two new Administrative Orders related to transforming the City of Atlanta Police Department. The first order calls for the adoption of reforms regarding the Atlanta Police Department’s use of force policies. The second order calls for a comprehensive review of how policing should be handled by the City of Atlanta.