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Parole Board Members meet with crime victims during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

April 6, 2017

ATLANTA - In recognition of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Georgia’s Parole Board met with Georgia victims of crime in Dahlonega today.

“As decision makers we were glad to talk with crime victims today as we responded to their need for information and understanding. Hopefully our presence, meeting directly with these victims, will bring about healing and closure,” stated Chairman Terry Barnard.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 2-8, 2017. This year’s national theme: Strength, Resilience, Justice; reflects a vision for the future in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive, organizations are resilient in response to challenges, and communities are able to seek collective justice and healing.

“All five Board Members were present at today’s Victims Visitors’ Day, meeting with crime victims to receive their information and to be sure we include it when considering the parole cases. The Board will continue to be resilient as we seek justice and healing for victims as we make informed parole decisions,” Barnard said.

More than 100 victims and family members attended the Victims Visitors’ Day.

A Victims Visitors’ Day allows crime victims the opportunity to discuss with the Board Members the parole status of offenders who committed the crimes against them and share with the members, the impact of the crime on the victim.
Victims were also able to register with the Georgia Office of Victim Services to receive parole status updates on their offenders as well as many other services that are provided.
Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard says the Victims Visitors’ Day helps ensure the victim is included in the parole decision process and that the Board has the information the victim wishes to share with the Board Members.
“We will continue this important event as an effort to meet with every crime victim in Georgia, who wishes to be heard,” stated Barnard.
Since 2006, Parole Board Members have participated in 27 Victims Visitors’ Days across Georgia, reaching more than 3,000 crime victims and their family members.
Today’s event was a partnership with the Enotah Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jeff Langley and the Lumpkin County Victim-Witness Assistance Office and was coordinated by the Georgia Office of Victim Services.
The Parole Board’s offender files include victim impact statements, victim correspondence regarding the case and all of the information given to the Board at the Victims Visitors’ Day. Prior to making a parole decision in a case, Board Members review the victim information ensuring the victim’s voice is heard.  In order for the Parole Board to have victim information, crime victims should register with the Georgia Office of Victim Services. If you are a crime victim and are not registered, please call the Georgia Office of Victim Services at 404-651-6668.
For more information about the Georgia Parole Board, please contact the Office of Communications, Director Steve Hayes, at 404-657-9450 or steve.hayes@pap.ga.gov; also visit www.pap.georgia.gov.