Black Women Lead the Criminal Justice System in Georgia's Newest City
By Phelicia Ball
As the country awaits to see if Georgia will make history by electing its first Black woman as governor this November, Black women in South Fulton, Georgia are already making history. South Fulton is the first city in America where the criminal justice system is solely headed by Black women, and is also one of Georgia’s newest cities. Each and every department head is reigned by a Black woman, something America has never seen before. Expectedly, their criminal justice approach is one of the most progressive and forward-driven in the nation.
Six of these women run the most important law enforcement positions in the city:
- Court Administrator Lakesiya Cofield
- Chief Court Clerk Ramona Howard
- City Solicitor LaDawn “LBJ” Jones
- City Public Defender Viveca Famber Powell
- Chief of Police Sheila Rogers
- Chief Judge Tiffany Carter Sellers
According to the Atlanta Voice, these women hope to instill faith back into the justice system. LaDawn Jones tells the Atlanta Voice that, “One of the primary purposes of laws is to protect citizens and the city,” she says. “You can do that without sending everyone to jail or enforce high fees. Most people do better when they know better.”
South Fulton is unlike any criminal justice system in America; a city that all of America could rightfully take notes from.