Georgia Power today announced an investment of $500,000 by the Georgia Power Foundation, to the Georgia Justice Project (GJP). The funding will help remove barriers to employment and housing and open other opportunities for those with past records who are working to be productive citizens.
"We are proud to support this initiative that will help citizens working hard to be self-sufficient," said Mike Anderson, senior vice president of Georgia Power and president and CEO of the Georgia Power Foundation. "Our commitment to this important work and GJP's efforts, are critical because this is one way that we can make a real impact to help both individuals and our state. As part of our $75 million commitment over the next five-years, it aligns with our goals to assist with education equity, criminal justice and economic empowerment."
The efforts support expanding direct service programs, including implementation of Georgia's new "expungement law," SB 288, that passed both the Georgia House and Senate unanimously. This new law expands access to criminal record restriction and sealing to help clear obstacles to success for approximately 1.5 million Georgians who now have access to record restriction for the first time. Georgia Power's grant will support GJP's efforts to implement a multipronged campaign that includes direct service, education and outreach, and policy expansion to increase the effectiveness of the new law.
"This grant will help Georgia Justice Project ensure effective implementation of Georgia's newly expanded criminal records law by bringing services directly to communities," said Brenda Smeeton, Legal Director of Georgia Justice Project. "As of January this year, many rehabilitated Georgians are now eligible to seal a conviction history to remove barriers to employment, housing and other opportunities, but a new law is only effective if the people who need it most can access it, and this grant will allow us to host expungement desks and events around the state. Our sincere gratitude to Georgia Power for supporting this effort."
For 35 years, GJP has served Georgians who have been impacted by the criminal legal system. The organization's range of legal services includes holistic criminal defense paired with social services, as well as representation for criminal records issues, all provided free of charge. GJP works statewide to educate individuals and service providers on criminal records, issues, and has helped to pass 21 Georgia laws through advocacy efforts.
The Georgia Power Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is the fifth-largest corporate giving foundation in Georgia. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that are enriching communities across the state and is part of Georgia Power's philanthropic focus to empower Education, Environmental Stewardship and Communities.
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