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Georgia Arson Task Force Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
91 pages
The activities and recommendations of the Georgia Arson Task Force (GATF) which was organized in February 1980, are reviewed.
The GATF was charged with the responsibility of studying the extent of the arson problem in the State, identifying causes of the problem, and developing a statewide strategy for the prevention and control of arson. The task force studied the State's laws, Federal statutes, and the model codes related to arson. It also studied much of the arson literature available and conducted a limited survey of arson in Georgia. In addition, interviews were conducted with representatives from the banking and insurance industries, investigators, law enforcement and fire officials, and other persons with particular interests or involvement in antiarson programs. This report presents an overview of fire and arson data for the State and the findings of the task force regarding the economics of arson, the behavior of arsonists, investigation and prosecution, and management of the arson problem. The GATF found few existing statewide arson programs and only minimal, available data. As a result, the GATF recommended mandatory reporting of arson and related data to a central repository, a statewide arson training course for investigators, a coordinated public awareness program throughout the State, and a study of arsonists' records from the prison and juvenile detention systems. Other recommendations are discussed, and appendixes review arson-related legislation and present a model arson reporting immunity bill, data tables, a survey form, and the four task force reports. About 90 references and an arson taxonomy are included.