Parole Board Meets Crime Victims in Augusta
ATLANTA - Approximately 150 victims of crime met with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles today at Augusta Technical College at the Parole Board’s 31st Victims Visitors’ Day.
The five members of the Parole Board who make parole decisions met with crime victims in confidential meetings in order to receive the victims’ input into parole cases that will come before the Board.
At the opening ceremony, Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard told the victims that the Board was looking forward to meeting with them.
“We’re always interested in any new information that we can gain here and place in those (offender) files,” stated Chairman Barnard. “We’ll make your comments permanent; they’ll be there the entire time that the person serves in prison,” he added.
Information given to the Board by victims is included in the parole case files so that it can be reviewed as parole eligible offenders are considered for possible release.
Since 2006, the Parole Board has been traveling to Georgia communities conducting Victims Visitors’ Days to be as accessible as possible to crime victims. More than 4,000 crime victims have been assisted through this process.
Chairman Barnard says victims’ input is very important and the Board will continue to make every effort to include victims in the parole process.
“It is our goal as a parole board to leave no victim in the dark. Absolutely no victim will be left in the dark. If a victim wants to be notified then we’re going to do everything that we can to notify you and let you have your place in the parole process, on multiple occasions throughout the process,” stated Barnard.
The event was hosted by the Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and Victim-Witness Assistance Program in a partnership with the Georgia Office of Victim Services, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision. At the opening ceremony, District Attorney Natalie Paine welcomed victims and the Parole Board to Augusta.
Crime victims can register with the Georgia Office of Victim Services by calling 1-800-593-9474 to ensure they receive parole consideration notices.
For more information please contact Steve Hayes, Communications Director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, at 404-657-9450 or email@example.com and visit our website at www.pap.georgia.gov.