Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed legislation authorizing the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) due to a declining number of inmates and increased operating costs.
“The final closure of this detention center symbolizes a new era for the City of Atlanta,” Bottoms said in a media statement. “Transforming this space into a center for equity replaces city-subsidized incarceration with something more effective—equipping residents with the tools they need to succeed. Taking this critical step will both result in meaningful change for Atlanta and set a new standard for the rest of the nation.”
Last week, the Atlanta City Council adopted a resolution introduced by Councilmember Andre Dickens on behalf of Bottoms’ Administration establishing a task force to repurpose the jail. The mission of the task force is to evaluate a use of the detention center that could benefit the entire community. Community organizations and activists have also been instrumental in working with city leaders to push for positive reform.
“Today, we are making history,” said Marilynn Winn, a formerly incarcerated woman and Director of Women on the Rise and Close the Jail ATL: Communities Over Cages Campaign. “Formerly incarcerated women are standing side by side with the mayor and city council to lead the nation’s first ever jail to equity center. This legislation is a major step toward Atlanta becoming a city that chooses services not sentences, solutions not punishments.”
Bottoms will publicly post a solicitation of nominations of additional individuals who would like to be considered to serve on the task force, which will also include city officials. Those interested in joining the task force can download a nomination form at this link.
Bottoms has already issued an executive order to permanently stop receiving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees at the jail.