ForsythGeorgia parole officials met today with hundreds of family members and friends of offenders at the Georgia Department of Corrections’ (GDC) Family Day in Forsyth.

The event is conducted by the GDC to provide an opportunity for family and friends of the incarcerated population to ask questions and receive information. The State Board of Pardons and Paroles participates to answer parole-related questions.

Board officials including State Board of Pardons and Paroles Executive Director Chris Barnett met with inmate families and Barnett spoke at the opening ceremony.

"Family members and friends can assist with the successful re-entry of the offenders. For an offender leaving prison to be successful, they must have that support. Certainly, we are meeting with families to provide parole status updates, but also to ensure the families understand the need for the offenders to be parole ready," stated Barnett.

Barnett says family members should provide support and encourage offenders to complete necessary and beneficial programming while incarcerated.

At the event, families of the offenders provided the Parole Board's staff with additional information that the Board Members can consider, and the Board’s clemency staff provided parole status updates on offenders.

Barnett says the GDC, and the Parole Board are working closely to ensure as many successful outcomes as possible for offenders leaving prison.

“Today was an important event for each agency and the Board will continue our strong criminal justice partnership with the Department of Corrections,” Barnett said.

“The Parole Board and the GDC are working together to enhance public safety for all Georgians,” he added.

The Parole Board has five voting members who are full time employees. The Georgia Constitution provides that Parole Board Members are to be appointed by the Governor to serve seven-year staggered terms, subject to confirmation by the State Senate. The Parole Board is authorized to grant paroles, pardons, commutations, and reprieves and is the only entity in the state with the constitutional authority to commute a death sentence. 

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