Atlanta - At the Georgia Parole Board’s monthly meeting this week, the Georgia Office of Victim Services recapped National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) 2023, in a presentation to the Board.
Georgia Office of Victim Services (GOVS) Director Rita Rocker says NCVRW was a successful week of events serving victims and survivors.
“We conducted a number of events during NCVRW which highlighted what the office’s staff does year-round supporting the registered crime victims in the state," Rocker said.
NCVRW 2023 was April 23-29, 2023. This theme was, "Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change." GOVS conducted and participated in several events raising awareness and support for crime victims.
During the week the office received recognition from the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC). GOVS was given the CJCC’s Georgia Crime Victim Service Collaborative and Innovative Project Award. The award is shared with the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC). It was given for the Victim Impact Sessions conducted by GOVS and hosted by prosecutors across the state.
The sessions are held in individual judicial circuits and involve victims and survivors meeting with a Georgia Parole Board Member, clemency and GOVS staff to talk about how the victims were affected by the crime.
Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard applauded GOVS.
"Congratulations to the hard-working team at the Georgia Office of Victim Services for being honored with this prestigious award. The Victim Impact Sessions offered by GOVS partnering with the Georgia Parole Board is a prime example of our dedication to ensuring that victims' voices are heard, and their needs are met. The Parole Board's and GOVS' commitment to providing a comprehensive, victim-centered response has been instrumental in helping victims and survivors across the state. The Parole Board appreciates GOVS' dedication to serving our communities and improving the lives of those affected by crime. What a great way to end a successful National Crime Victims' Rights Week," said Barnard.
GOVS conducted a panel discussion at Georgia State University titled, “A Conversation on Victims’ Rights,” on April 25th. The panel included a crime victim, law enforcement and victim advocates.
First Lady Marty Kemp greeted those attending the panel discussion with a video welcome as did State Board of Pardons and Paroles Vice Chair Jacqueline Bunn, Department of Corrections Commissioner Tyrone Oliver and Department of Community Supervision Commissioner Michael Nail.
During NCVRW several events took place for victims in Atlanta and a memorial service was held in Decatur.
The Georgia Office of Victim Services is a division of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. GOVS is supported by and represents the Parole Board, the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.
Georgia’s parole board members consider victims’ information and input when making parole decisions.
More information can be found at pap.georgia.gov, or contact Steve Hayes at 404-657-9450 or [email protected].