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State Board of Pardons and Paroles Supports Inmate High School and GED Graduations

June 30, 2017

Forsyth - All five voting members of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles attended the Foothills Education Charter High School graduation ceremony at the Burruss Correctional Training Center on Thursday, July 29, 2017.

A total of 29 graduated with their high school diploma achieving the success during their incarceration. Eighteen of the graduates attended the ceremony.

Chairman Elect James Mills spoke to the class.

“There will be people that will tell you that you can’t do certain things because you have a prison experience in your background. There is no limit to what you can do,” said Mills.

Mills says through criminal justice reform initiatives, state inmates are being afforded more reentry programming. He says the board is very sincere about its criminal justice role and wants to see inmates apply themselves. He adds, “We also recognize there is a reason for prison and sometimes it’s safest for everyone that people spend more time there.”

Vice Chairman Elect Braxton Cotton told the graduates that they should seize this opportunity and expand on it. Cotton called the graduates “leaders.”

Also attending the ceremony were current Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard and Board Members Brian Owens and Jacqueline Bunn.

The Parole Board has supported recent GED and Charter School graduations at Lee Arrendale State Prison and Burruss.

“Thanks to the hard-working students, dedicated staff, and our partners at Foothills, we doubled the number of Charter High School graduates this year,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier. “This diploma affords the offenders a second chance at success upon their reentry into society.” 


The Parole Board consists of five Board Members who are full time state employees. They are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate. They serve seven year staggered terms. The members determine which parole eligible inmates are granted parole and they make decisions on pardons as well as clemency requests for death row inmates. In Georgia, eligible inmates are automatically considered for parole. If released on parole, offenders who violate their release conditions may be returned to prison by the Parole Board.

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.