Forsyth - Georgia's five-member parole board has completed training delivered by the Center for Effective Public Policy and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The training was conducted at State Offices South at Tift College in Forsyth, at the Georgia Department of Corrections’ headquarters.

Richard Stroker, a Senior Associate with the Center for Effective Public Policy and Director of the National Parole Resource Center led part of the training focusing on national trends, Georgia’s inmate population and the Parole Board’s guidelines system.

Stroker says Georgia’s guidelines system shows “transparency” in decision-making.

“Your board is a leader among parole boards, among the best in the nation,” said Stroker.

Discussions included how the guidelines might be enhanced.

Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard and the entire board attended the training.

“As a paroling authority we will always look for information that can make our scientific, data-driven decision making system even better. We must continue to focus on enhancements that can result in more positive outcomes,” Barnard stated.

When considering parole for statutorily parole eligible offenders who are serving less than a life sentence, the Board reviews a parole recommendation obtained from the Parole Decision Guidelines system, which accounts for the severity of the crime and the offender's risk to reoffend.

Georgia’s parole completion success percentage annually surpasses the national average. The Georgia success rate of 73% outpaced the overall national average of 63% according to Stroker.

The board also received training from Michael Hourihan with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government regarding ethics and parole decision making. Hourihan guided the board through a discussion looking at parole decisions in other states.

Executive Director of Parole, Chris Barnett says continued training is critical to public safety.

“As a public safety agency, we must stay informed regarding national trends and review the processes of other paroling authorities. Although most states operate differently, we must research ways to make our system more efficient and effective,” he stated.

The Center for Effective Public Policy:

The National Parole Resource Center:

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government:

For more information, contact the State Board of Pardons and Paroles at 404-657-9450 or [email protected].