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The Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was April 18th in Glennville. Events included a Public Safety agency meeting held at the National Guard Armory. The Parole Board Members and executive staff represented the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. More than 1,000 law enforcement officials attended the events. Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard delivered remarks to the group about the agency's public safety mission.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Georgia Office of Victim Services celebrated National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 7-13, 2019, as staff attended and supported various events in Georgia.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles met April 24th with crime victims at Augusta Technical College. Approximately 150 victims of crime were able to discuss their cases with the five members of the Parole Board. All of the information from the meetings with victims will be included in the case files so that the Board Members can consider the information when the offenders become parole eligible. The victim information remains confidential.
The Georgia Department of Corrections' Metro Reentry Facility in Atlanta prepares offenders who will be released following completion of their prison sentence or if released on parole. Executive Director of Parole Chris Barnett and senior staff recently toured the facility and engaged offenders about their reentry efforts.
The Georgia Department of Corrections' Whitworth Women's Facility held an open house for the new New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS)/Leavell College Extension Center in early April. The guest of honor was former Governor Nathan Deal. Parole staff attended in support. They included Parole Board Member David Herring and Executive Director of Parole Chris Barnett.
Shalandra Robertson, the Director of the Georgia Office of Victim Services has been recognized by the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) for her work with crime victims. At the APPA Winter Training Conference in Miami, Florida in March, Robertson received the prestigious Joe Kegans Award for Victim Services in Probation and Parole.
At the March 5, 2019 meeting of the Parole Board, a former offender spoke to the members. Suzanne Kilgore received a pardon in 2017. Read more https://tinyurl.com/y659qzju
Crisp County sponsored a recent legislative event in Atlanta. Parole Board Member Jacqueline Bunn and Deputy Executive Director of Parole Rita Rocker attended.
Georgia Tech and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles are partnering to enhance public safety. Researchers at Georgia Tech met with staff from the State Board of Pardons and Paroles recently to continue work on a cutting edge public safety project. The goal of the project is to improve offender outcomes.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is supporting the graduating new officers of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision. Parole Board Member David Herring, along with Exec. Director Chris Barnett and other parole staff attended the ceremony at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, GPSTC on Friday, March 1, 2019. Creation of the Dept. of Community Supervision (DCS) was an integral part of former Governor Nathan Deal's criminal justice reforms. As a result, offenders serving parole in the community and those sentenced to probation by the courts are supervised by DCS. Governor Brian Kemp delivered a video message of support to the new officers about their vital role in providing for public safety.
Monthly meetings are held as business meetings. Parole cases are not considered and parole decisions are not made. In February, the Board received operational updates from the Executive Director and presentations to include a paroled offender serving life who spoke to the Board Members. The Board also received a presentation on the Department of Corrections' successful Braille Program.
During the months of December and January, Parole staff visited several Department of Corrections' facilities. During some of the visits, parole certificates were presented to inmates. The message to the inmate population is be "parole ready."