ATLANTA - The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is celebrating its 80th Anniversary!

“Enhancing Public Safety through Informed Clemency Decisions, 1943-2023,” was the theme at the operational Parole Board meeting held Wednesday, December 6th at the Georgia State Capitol.

Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard says over the decades public safety has remained at the forefront of every decision the board has made.

“This is a significant milestone for this public safety agency, an agency I’m proud to have been a part of for the past thirteen years, and an agency I know my fellow board members are extremely proud to be a part of,” said Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard.

Former Board Members and former staff were a part of yesterday’s event.

Executive Director of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles Chris Barnett says it is an important milestone for Georgia.

“Voters ratified a constitutional amendment 80 years ago this year following legislative action creating the Georgia Parole Board. Over eight decades, the people who have worked for this agency have dedicated themselves to public service and public safety. This recognition is important,” states Barnett.

“The work of our predecessors set the foundation for our operations today. From implementing guidelines to transitioning to electronic processes, past board members, leadership and agency staff have served ethically and with integrity to serve Georgians and enhance public safety,” he added.

Attending the meeting were former Board Members from five different decades. They were Cecil McCall (1972 - 1977), Michael Wing (1982 - 1989), Tim Jones (1990 - 1997), Garland Hunt (2004 - 2010), and Albert Murray (2010 - 2016).

Former Parole Board Member Tim Jones spoke about the historic implementation of parole guidelines in Georgia.

“In 1980, the legislators codified the parole decision guidelines, a new system of parole decision making in Georgia,” stated Jones. “Parole guidelines revolutionized the decision-making process in the state of Georgia,” he added.

The Board utilizes guidelines today which are the basis for its scientific, informed, decision-making process.

Former Board Member Cecil McCall remembered his appointment to the Georgia Parole Board in 1972 by then Governor Jimmy Carter. McCall said Carter was knowledgeable and interested in the Board’s operations.

Chairman Barnard thanked the former board members for their participation in the meeting.

“Gentlemen you are giants, literally, you are giants," he stated.

At the meeting, a special presentation marking the Board's 80th Anniversary included a video message from Governor Brian Kemp congratulating the Georgia Parole Board.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is a part of the Executive Branch of State Government. Parole Board Members are full time employees and are constitutional officers.

Contact the State Board of Pardons and Paroles at 404-657-9450 or email [email protected]