Georgia Office of Victim Services
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has been recognized for its leadership role in the advocacy of victim rights. The Parole Board continues to give the highest priority and greatest compassion to those citizens who are most affected by crime, the innocent victims and their survivors. In 2005, the Parole Board and Department of Corrections combined their offices of victim services to form the Corrections and Parole Board Office of Victim Services. This afforded both agencies the opportunity to accommodate victims, and provide victims with the highest possible level of customer service. On July 1, 2015, with the creation of the Department of Community Supervision, the office began serving victims for all three agencies and is now the Georgia Office of Victim Services.
Parole wants input from victims
As the State’s executive clemency agency, the Parole Board believes it can carry out its functions effectively only by gathering comprehensive information on offenders, including the impact of their actions on victims and the community. The Georgia Office of Victim Services works with victims or their families to answer their questions about parole, to ensure their views and concerns reach Board Members prior to the parole decision, and to keep them notified of activity on their case. Most importantly, the personnel in the Georgia Office of Victim Services continually strive to make victims feel welcomed in the parole process.
Victim Information Program - V.I.P.
V.I.P. is a 24-hour automated information system used by the Georgia Office of Victim Services to provide victims of crime and/or their families with access to information about their offender. By simply picking up a telephone and dialing the toll-free V.I.P. number, (1-800-593-9474) information regarding the custody status of an inmate can be obtained. For more information call 404-651-6668.
V.I.P. also operates as a notification system. Through computer generated telephone calls, individuals who have registered with the Georgia Office of Victim Services will automatically receive notification of the release of their offender from custody.
Victims Visitors' Day
“Victims Visitors’ Days” are conducted across Georgia by the Georgia Office of Victim Services. Crime victims and their families in attendance receive information concerning the current status of their offender, and they can register to receive future notification of the status of their offender. Since 2006, more than 4,000 victims have been able to give information about their offender's case, in these face-to-face meetings with staff from the Parole Board including Board Members.
Victim Impact Sessions
Victim Impact Sessions (VIS) were implemented during FY 2022. These sessions allow victims whose offender is within twelve (12) to eighteen (18) months of parole consideration to discuss their case in a meeting with a Board Member, a Georgia Office of Victim Services' staff member, and a senior hearing examiner. By focusing on cases due to be reviewed by the Board during the next twelve to eighteen months, the Board is receiving up to date and timely information from both the victim and the district attorney. In FY22, two Victim Impact Sessions were conducted, one in Gainesville and the other in Brunswick. So far in FY23, Victim Impact Sessions have been conducted in Canton, Forsyth, Ellijay, Savannah and Columbus, Georgia.
The Board is committed to allowing victims to be heard.