160 Crime Victims Meet with the Parole Board in Cordele
CORDELE – Georgia’s Parole Board Members held individual confidential meetings throughout today in Cordele with crime victims. More than 160 victims and family members attended the Victims Visitors’ Day conducted by the Board and the Georgia Office of Victim Services in partnership with the Cordele Judicial Circuit Victim-Witness Assistance Program and the Office of District Attorney Brad Rigby.
Parole Board Chairman James Mills spoke at the event’s morning ceremony. Mills said, in order for the Board to make informed parole decisions, the Board needs victim input.
“We’re here today to hear information from you, information that we can’t find in an inmate’s file, information that we can’t find sometimes in a court document, but information that can only be relayed to us sometimes by the victim,” said Mills.
The Victims Visitors’ Day was held at Blackshear Place in Cordele.
Crime victims not previously registered with the state were able to do so today enabling them to receive notifications regarding status changes with the offender including Board decisions and possible releases. Victims were also able to meet with staff from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision.
Information received by the Board from victims is included in the parole case files and available for review by the Board Members when the parole eligible inmates are considered. The Board discussed more than 60 parole case files of state inmates today.
Chairman Mills promised the victims that the Board Members would listen to every victim and each concern.
“We love to help people, and that’s what we feel like we’re here to do,” stated Mills.
Superior Court Judge of the Cordele Judicial Circuit Denise Fachini thanked the Board for bringing the Victims Visitors’ Day to Cordele.
“We do not find state or federal agencies willing to come to our community and explain how they work. I find it very progressive on the part of the Parole Board to do just that. It is rare to have our governing bodies in Atlanta listening to what we have to say in South Georgia. This is a good way to treat people and it is a good program,” stated Judge Fachini.
The Victims Visitors’ Day in Cordele was the Parole Board’s 28th event dating back to 2006. The Board and the Georgia Office of Victim Services have met with more than 3,400 victims and family members during that time.
To learn more, contact the Office of Communications at 404-657-9450 or visit www.pap.georgia.gov.