Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Press Release: AG Candidate Teilhet to Focus Policy on Crime Prevention and Education

In March of 2010 Attorney General Candidate and State Representative Rob Teilhet unveiled a major component of his campaign platform, the creation of a Child Protection Unit within the Office of Attorney General. Today Teilhet announced a top policy priority in the unit— a focus on crime prevention and education. (See Rob’s video announcement here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcLOzLIeVWo )

Teilhet voted against the state budget for Fiscal Year 2011, which once again slashed funding for public education in Georgia, forcing massive teacher layoffs and program cuts across the state.

“Failing to invest in students, mistreating teachers, and turning a blind eye to the crisis unfolding in our schools has to stop,” said Rob Teilhet. “Summer school programs are closing, class sizes are growing, alternative education programs are shutting down. Georgia is systematically removing opportunities for kids to succeed, and we’ll pay for it later,” said Rep. Teilhet.

Education has long been proven an effective prevention measure against unemployment, crime rates and increasing recidivism rates. High school dropouts are eight times more likely to end up in jail or prison. The Department of Corrections reports that 65 percent of Georgia’s prison population did not complete the 12th grade. According to research conducted at Columbia University, if a community could increase its average level of school completion by one year, there is an associated 30 percent decrease in murder and assault rates to follow.

“Georgia cannot afford an Attorney General whose only concern is prosecuting a crime after it has been committed,” said Teilhet. “Georgia needs an Attorney General who will work to prevent crime from happening in the first place. Supporting Georgia’s teachers, kids and schools is the right place to start.”

In addition to investigating and prosecuting those that harm children, Teilhet’s Child Protection Unit will drive policies that will prevent youth perpetuated crime. Supporting education funding and protecting Georgia teachers will be key components of Teilhet’s legislative agenda as Attorney General.

“I can promise this, as Attorney General, no one in the nation will go after child predators as hard as I will. I will make Georgia the toughest state in the country to commit crimes against our kids,” said Teilhet. “At the same time, the Office of the Attorney General will not lose sight of prevention. I vow to work closely with the new state school superintendent to find ways to invest in our kids and give them every opportunity for success in school means less crime in our communities. Better schools mean safer streets. ”

Teilhet has introduced and supported measures to protect Georgia’s children and families since first elected in 2002 and has been a member of the House Education Committee. He has authored numerous crime prevention bills including “The Johnia Berry Act” which would expand Georgia’s DNA database and has been proven to prevent crimes such as murders and rape, “E-STOP” legislation that would prevent registered sex offenders from contacting children on social networking sites, and legislation that requires individuals working at daycare facilities to undergo criminal background checks.

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