The Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office has been awarded a $100,000 sub grant by the State of Georgia that is funded from the federal FY2021 State Homeland Security Program, to assist in confronting violent criminal street gangs that prey on our communities.

According to data pulled from the Georgia Attorney General’s Office website, nearly half of all violent crimes committed in America are gang-related. Gang-member recruitment in Georgia is on the rise with approximately 71,000 validated gang affiliates and over 1,500 suspected gang networks across the state. A 2018 survey conducted by the Georgia Gang Investigators Association reported a rise in gang activity in 157 Georgia counties, with 155 Georgia school districts also reporting suspected gang activity. In 2021 alone, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Gang Task Force investigated 446 gang-related cases across 100 Georgia counties and charged more than 170 gang members. A more concerning trend is the use of social media by criminals as a recruitment tool to specifically target a younger audience. Within the Brunswick Judicial Circuit, law enforcement reports indicate that approximately 50% of the individuals involved in crimes are either associated with, or are actual members of gangs.

The grant received by the District Attorney’s Office will be utilized to fund access to Formulytics, an investigative case file system that assists government agencies in prosecuting organizations that perpetrate violent criminal actions against their communities. This cloud-based platform helps investigators collaborate across jurisdictional boundaries and organizes complex evidence and investigations around the unique requirements of group based prosecutions and Georgia’s Gang Statute. Investigators will be able to address the organized structure of criminal gangs and view them in a bigger picture, rather than investigating gang-related crimes as individual incidents. The gang investigations will exist in an active file tool that tracks gang activity over time, and includes information on gang history, identifiers and members. Past investigative methods relied on investigators having to manually search large paper files or talk with investigators from other agencies known to be working similar cases in order to identify potential investigative links. The Formulytics platform will be available to our law enforcement partners and will allow them to collaborate more easily, as the system will automatically alert investigators of links between complex criminal investigations.

This collaborative District Attorney’s Office – law enforcement initiative, includes participation from all of the sheriff’s offices and police departments within the five counties that comprise the Brunswick Judicial Circuit (Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis and Wayne) as well as the regional Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Port Authority Police, Department of Natural Resources, Board of Education and College of Coastal Georgia Police. Following a training session held on October 17, 2022, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins stated, “The collaborative use of this investigative and intelligence-sharing platform by our law enforcement partners will ultimately improve prosecution of gang-related crimes in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit. I am grateful to Governor Brian Kemp and Harlan Proveaux of the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, who awarded the sub grant that makes all of this possible.”

For more information about the Brunswick District Attorney’s Office, visit the new DAO website at www.brunswickda.org.


Open Records Act Request: Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 50-18-71(b)(2), the Open Records Officer for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office is Cathy Browning. Written requests should be submitted to her via email at cbrowning@pacga.org or by mail to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Attention: Cathy Browning, 210 E. 4th St., Woodbine, GA 31569.
Media Policy: The Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney aims to scrupulously follow the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The office is not ethically allowed to answer many questions posed by reporters, whatever the journalistic merit. The office cannot, for example, discuss an accused party’s criminal history or speculate about the impact of a particular piece of evidence. These rules are in place to ensure a defendant’s rights to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.