What are “Accountability” Courts?
As part of criminal justice reform, incentives were offered for accountability courts to be set up in many of Georgia’s counties. Cobb County is an excellent example of the use of accountability courts. We have a misdemeanor DUI court. We have a misdemeanor mental health court. But we also have three felony courts, and that’s how it actually started. The first one was drug court. It works extremely well for people who are addicted to drugs and have committed felonies as a result. We also have a mental health accountability court. Even better, it makes sure that people who may have had a brush with the law but have a serious mental illness can get structure and support, and not be incarcerated for their mental illness.
Accountability courts are always an alternative way to handle a sentence. It’s better than prison – it works better than prison, it costs less than prison, and we have found through efforts of support of people who were charged, that they can have great outcomes. So, accountability courts allow a different way for cases to be handled. It takes the stress off the criminal justice system, but also usually is an excellent service for the person who is charged.