Georgia's Victim Services Highlighted at International Conference
The Georgia Office of Victim Services presented "Georgia's Unique Approach to Serving Crime Victims Post-Conviction" at the APAI Conference this week.
The 2021 Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI) Annual Training Conference was held in Arlington, Texas. The Georgia Office of Victim Services, a division of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, was among the organizations presenting training material and information to conference attendees.
"We're one of the few states in which the delivery of all post-conviction victim services is from one victim services unit which is the Georgia Office of Victim Services," states Rita Rocker, Director of the Georgia Office of Victim Services.
"It was a great opportunity for us to be able to share what we do for crime victims in Georgia with APAI members," she added.
The presentation demonstrated how Georgia has created a single point of contact for crime victims during the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice process.
The Georgia Office of Victim Services (OVS) represents three state agencies. They are the Georgia Parole Board, the Georgia Department of Corrections, and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision. Crime victims who are registered with the office can receive parole status updates and can provide input for the Parole Board Members to consider when eligible offenders are considered for parole.
Georgia Parole Board Member David Herring attended the conference.
"Our Victim Services Office is excellent! The presentation at APAI is sure to benefit the members as they look to enhance their individual victim units. The Parole Board is always confident that we have the latest information regarding victims before we make parole decisions,” stated Herring.
OVS has more than 37,000 active registered crime victims and registers approximately 2,000 new victims annually.
Ashley Koonce, the Executive Director of the APAI, says Georgia's presentation offers other states and international members, information that could enhance victim service delivery to their crime victims.
"Georgia's system of assisting crime victims and ensuring they are a part of the parole process is comprehensive and effective. We are thankful Georgia provided such an important and informative presentation for all of our attendees, both in person and virtual, to see,” stated Koonce.
“The information provided will have a reach that spans up to 5 countries and over 35 states. I'm sure Ms. Rocker and her staff will be fielding many follow up requests as a result," added Koonce.
The 2021 APAI Annual Training Conference theme was "Connecting & Energizing Parole Across the World." APAI's membership consists of U.S. and International paroling authorities. Learn more about APAI at http://www.apaintl.org/.
To learn more about the services offered post-conviction to crime victims and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, visit us at www.pap.georgia.gov or contact Steve Hayes, Communications Director, at [email protected] or 404-657-9450.