Board Members Meet with Crime Victims in Gainesville
Gainesville - The State Board of Pardons and Paroles met with more than 135 crime victims in Gainesville today. Victims met with parole staff and in most cases a Parole Board member at the 30th Victims Visitors’ Day conducted since 2006. Information received from the victims was added to approximately 79 offender parole case files. The Board will consider all information received today when deciding whether to grant parole in those cases.
“We had a very productive day in our meetings with crime victims,” stated Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard.
“The Board’s commitment to victims will always be measured through our willingness to listen and by conducting these events where we meet directly with victims. Many services are available to crime victims through the Georgia Office of Victim Services, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Community Supervision and of course the Parole Board,” Barnard added.
Those services included many victims at today’s event being able to register with the Georgia Office of Victim Services in order to receive parole status updates on the offenders in their cases.
The Victims Visitors’ Day was held at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville. It was the first held in Hall County. Twenty-two different Georgia communities have hosted an event over the past twelve years.
The Victims Visitors’ Day was a collaborative of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Georgia Office of Victim Services and the host, the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Victim-Witness Assistance Program.
At 9 a.m. an opening ceremony included remarks from Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.
“This is an exciting day for victims in Northeast Georgia and their families to be able to come and address the members of the Board directly,” stated District Attorney Lee Darragh.
Two of the Board’s five members live in Hall County. James Mills was appointed in 2011 and David Herring was recently appointed. Both were appointed by Governor Deal.
“Governor Deal’s success with criminal justice reform will have long lasting positive effects on our state through improved public safety resulting in fewer crime victims,” stated Board Member James Mills. “As Board Members our meetings with victims are important and extremely rewarding.”
Information received from victims in meetings with parole staff today will be added to the parole case files maintained on the inmates who have committed the crimes.