Legislation to Close and Reimagine Atlanta City Detention Center

May 2020

The Issue

The ACDC, located in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia atPeachtree Street NW and Memorial Drive SW, is an 11- story, 471,000 square footactive detention and arrest-processing center. Construction of the current ACDC facility occurred in 1995 and thebuilding has the capacity to detain approximately 1,300 individuals. As of May2020, the average daily population of detainees was less than 50 because ofMayor Bottoms’ and community-led successful efforts to decriminalize severallow-level offenses; launch and build out the pre-arrest diversion initiative; reformmunicipal cash bail; and end a long-term contract with U.S. Immigration andCustoms Enforcement.

The Solution

In May 2019, Mayor Bottoms signed legislation authorizingthe closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center and standing up a Task Forceto provide preliminary recommendations for the initiative. It is a top priorityof Mayor Bottoms to put this underutilized facility to more productive use as amultifaceted center for wellness and healing, skills-building, economicmobility, and crime prevention for people, families and communities impacted bythe history of over-incarceration. By converting this space, the City ofAtlanta seeks to invest in people to break the cycle of poverty while at thesame time improving public safety practices and opportunities that reducerecidivism and re-build lives.