ROCKDALE COUNTY, GA– Rockdale County received the 2021 Georgia County Excellence Award from the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) at this year’s County Reconnect Conference.
Rockdale, along with Baldwin, Coweta Spalding and Upson counties received the award for finding creative and innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities. The conference was held Nov. 12-15 in Savannah, Georgia.
Rockdale was honored for its Accountability Court programs, which provide help for nonviolent offenders to change their lives and behaviors. The first Accountability Court program launched in 2007. The programs have a recidivism rate, or rate of people repeating criminal behavior, of just 18%. They also save the county around 27 dollars in everything from court costs to jail expenses for each dollar invested.
Superior Court Judge Nancy Bills, Chairman Oz Nesbit, and Post 2 Commissioner Doreen Williams were in attendance to receive the award at the event.
“To me, it just recognizes our teamwork with the county, the court system, the Board of Commissioners. We are all working together for the betterment of our community,” said Judge Bills.
Chairman Nesbitt expressed the importance of the programs and how the recognition highlighted their impact.
“It’s not just sentencing someone some time in prison or some time in jail. It’s also giving them some direction to start their lives over and giving people the second chances that we all deserve,” Nesbitt said.
“I really appreciate the award from ACCG today, recognizing Rockdale as a county of distinction,” Commissioner Williams said. “It really is thrilling to me because those accountability courts were [created] to help people regain their lives again.”