Elizabeth Rainwater

  • Hosted by Georgia Justice Project
  • Sponsored by The Clorox Company
  • Service location Atlanta, Georgia
  • Law school Samford University, Cumberland School of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Elizabeth focused on reducing the staggering number of people serving extremely long and often unnecessary probation sentences in Georgia, as she advocated for people on probation through policy reform, education, and direct representation.

Georgia has the highest rate of people under correctional control in the nation, and, on average, sentences individuals on probation nearly three times longer than other states. Even though Black individuals make up just 33% of Georgia’s population, nearly 50% of the over 180,000 individuals on probation are Black. From both a safety and cost perspective, Georgia’s staggering numbers are ineffective at improving outcomes for individuals serving sentences and the community as a whole.

Elizabeth’s faith is the driving force behind her passion to advocate for the overlooked and the oppressed. She knows personally what it means to have a great advocate and desires that every person in the criminal justice system knows what it means to have someone fight for them.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Elizabeth:

  • Provided research support to help pass Senate Bill 105, a probation reform bill, which became law on May 3, 2021 and impacted roughly 50,000 Georgians on felony probation
  • Met with stakeholders on a regular basis to troubleshoot and improve implementation efforts for Senate Bill 105
  • Advised over 100 individuals and presented to over 500 individuals on Georgia’s early termination of probation reforms
  • Provided full representation to 19 clients
  • Conducted six trainings for allies, partners, and other service providers
  • Created educational materials and presentations to inform directly impacted folks about their rights while on probation and remedies for early termination

Next Steps

Elizabeth will continue to assist Georgians serving lengthy felony probation sentences through direct representation and policy reform as a Staff Attorney on Georgia Justice Project’s Criminal Defense team. She will broaden her fellowship’s goal of reducing the number of Georgians under correctional control.

Media

Pursuing a passion to lift people up

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