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     As a two-term Mayor of Columbus, Georgia, it was my honor to provide leadership for our city’s public safety and homeland security functions. During my eight years in office, the people of Columbus pulled together to reduce crime and make our neighborhoods safer.”

In Columbus, we were proud to balance crime fighting with restorative practices such as: 1) our Crime Prevention grant program that funded well-vetted, effective programs to prevent crime and reduce recidivism; 2) transforming the state’s work camp prison in Muscogee County to supply the greatest number of GED’s of any state work camp, provide soft skills training for future employability, partner with Columbus Tech to provide certificates for skills learned or honed while in the work camp and to encourage the hiring of work camp trustees by the Columbus Consolidated Government (CCG) once their sentence was complete; 3) banning the box for employment with CCG and utilizing the Mayor’s committee to assess and hire individuals with felony records; 4) instituting the Rapid Resolution Program to hire additional public defenders and assistant district attorneys assigned to the rapid assessment and disposition of misdemeanor/felony charges thereby reducing the number of people being held in prison simply for failure to meet bond; 5) supporting and expanding the Muscogee County/ Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit Alternative Court system, which is comprised of Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Court and the new Family Court; and 6) restructuring the CCG Recorder’s Court to provide greater access to public defenders, more prompt case disposition and greater justice. 

Criminal Justice Reform inures to all our benefit: We can make a real difference in the lives of those who headed down the wrong path, in the lives or their families and in all of our communities.

— Teresa Tomlinson


  • Support an end to the abuse of cash bail bonds across America. No one should serve a long jail sentence for nonviolent, minor offenses simply because they are unable to pay bail. The criminalization of poverty is unacceptable.
  • Support an end to sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine and other drug charge disparities with a racial bias impact.
  • Support reform of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses, so that judges and prosecutors can use discretion in sentencing decisions, particularly for first-time offenders.
  • Support legislation that brings about an end to for-profit prisons.
  • Support abolishment of the federal death penalty.
  • Support the recommendations of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the restoration of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the resourcing and oversight of law enforcement agencies, particularly regarding excessive use of force incidents and other civil rights issues.
  • Support increased resources for the federal prosecution of hate crimes, domestic terrorism and white supremacist organizations.
  • Support increased federal funding for the successful reentry of those who have served their time and repaid their debt to society so as to reduce recidivism, enhance community and human assets and reduce the direct and indirect cost of broadscale imprisonment.  |
  • Support increased civil rights and health protections for incarcerated persons, particularly pregnant women.
  • Support full reinstatement of the right to vote to every prior felon who has completed incarceration and repaid their debt to society.
  • Support legislation that ends the ban on federal PELL grant eligibility for incarcerated students.
  • Support legislation and funding for alternative courts and drug and mental health treatment in lieu of imprisonment. 

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