“Criminal Record Responsibility Act” Clears General Assembly
ATLANTA (April 4, 2022) | Today, the General Assembly gave final passage to Lt. Governor Duncan’s “Criminal Record Responsibility Act,” reaffirming Georgia's commitment to enhancing public safety by modernizing the current criminal data reporting system. Carried as Senate Bill (SB) 441, the measure addresses alarming gaps currently complicating the state’s judicial system with inaccurate and incomplete criminal records.
SB 441 calls for forming a "Criminal Case Data Exchange Board" to create and oversee a statewide electronic reporting process for criminal justice agencies, clerks of court, probation and parole supervision offices.
“When judicial leaders do not have a complete picture of an individual’s criminal history, the safety of our communities is compromised,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “I commend my colleagues in the General Assembly for prioritizing public safety and working across the aisle to pass this comprehensive reform of Georgia’s criminal data reporting system.”
Carried in the Senate by Sen. Bo Hatchett (R – Cornelia), SB 441 also updates the responsibilities related to disposition filings for district attorneys and solicitors-general.
“Ensuring access to updated criminal records is a crucial public safety issue not only for the judicial system, but for potential employers, housing companies and occupational licensing boards who require a criminal background check,” said Sen. Hatchett.
Georgia's business community praised today's passage, with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce applauding the measure's advancement.
“The Georgia Chamber commends the General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 441 which will address some of the current challenges around escalating crime in our state by enhancing the coordination of criminal records. By assisting law enforcement and our prosecutors' efforts to better navigate the state's criminal justice system, the safety of our communities, families, and businesses will ensure that we advance our reputation as an excellent place to live and work. In addition, Georgia's businesses rely on accurate and complete criminal background checks to make informed decisions about potential employees, so addressing challenges in the state's criminal database will bolster the confidence of Georgia's employers in their hiring practices."
“The Metro Atlanta Chamber applauds the Georgia General Assembly on its passage of Senate Bill 441, The Criminal Records Responsibility Act, legislation that enhances public safety by improving timely entry, accuracy, and completeness of criminal history information in the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) database. We believe all Georgians benefit when the GCIC database is accurate and complete, and we thank Lieutenant Governor Duncan for his leadership on this critical piece of legislation.”
SB 441 now heads to Governor Kemp for final approval. A copy of the legislation can be viewed at: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/61690.