The Office of Chairman of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles is entrusted to me with the highest regard for those members who have placed their confidence in me to serve in this capacity. This five member board has the challenging public safety responsibility of determining which offenders can be released safely back into the community under the watchful care of the Department of Community Supervision. Community supervision is a vital step in an offender’s successful return to society. Inmates leaving the prison system have a much higher probability of success if they have the benefit of the supervision and guidance as they transition.
The parole case file is extensive and comprehensive as a result of many hours of work by our clemency staff. The result is data driven decisions by the five board members. These decisions are based on the board’s parole decision guidelines and scientific risk assessment instruments, with a linkage to the statewide average length of prison sentences given by the courts.
Once on supervision, the offender can then benefit from the supervision officer’s experience, not only as a law enforcement officer, but also as a person the offender can rely on and trust to assist him or her in making better decisions. Of course the offender must be willing to make those necessary changes and for those who do not, the Board will take swift action to sanction the offender to include a return to state prison, if necessary, to protect the public.
I am humbled and honored to lead this agency as chairman. Since my first appointment to the Board in May 2010, I have been fortunate to work alongside many individuals who share a commitment to public safety and go to work every day working to better serve our Georgia citizens. As a result, this agency is a leader for change in our profession, change that is drawing interest from paroling authorities across the country and from outside our borders because the change we're implementing is resulting in more successful outcomes, more offenders leaving crime and prison behind.