House Bill 310, which also creates a new state agency to oversee felony probation and parole supervision, now needs only Gov. Nathan Deal's signature to become law.
The system currently is widely used by judges as a high-cost payment program for traffic fines. Most local courts across Georgia also outsource misdemeanor probation supervision to private probation companies. Critics say the profit motives of those companies have turned probation payment plans into predatory loans and led to illegal lock-ups of indigent Georgians who couldn’t afford probation payments.