Researchers at the University of Georgia have secured a $235,000 grant to find out why more people in rural parts of the state are going to jail.
In cities, incarceration rates are going down, but they're increasing in rural places. Researchers want to know why.
Several departments at UGA will use the money from the Vera Institute of Justice to partner with local governments and look for solutions, sociology professor Sarah Shannon said.
"It won't be about us swooping in telling them what to do," Shannon said. "It will be a project where we all study the data and look at the possibilities for locally-tailored responses."
They will also look at access to programs that offer alternatives to jail for people with mental illness and substance abuse issues.