ATLANTA - The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is engaging crime victims through Victim Impact Sessions (VIS). The VIS is facilitated by the Georgia Office of Victim Services through a district attorney's office. Victim Impact Sessions allow victims to discuss their case in a meeting with a Parole Board Member, staff from the Georgia Office of Victim Services, and Clemency staff. 

Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard met with crime victims in Ware County.

"Victim input provides an important factor in the parole decision-making process and as a Board we've strived to find every victim in Georgia so their voice can be heard," states Barnard.

Information received from crime victims during the sessions is included in the case file maintained on the parole eligible offender which board members review prior to making a parole decision.

Board Members Meg Heap, Joyette Holmes and Wayne Bennett recently participated in Victim Impact Sessions. Heap and Bennett met with victims in Albany.

"As a victim advocate early in my career, I know that the impact is very real on the victim. I am thankful, although painful for them, that these victims decided to meet with us in Albany," said Heap.

Holmes met with victims in Clayton County.

"These sessions can be very emotional for the victims; however our experienced victims staff maintain a safe and comforting place for them to tell their stories," said Holmes.

By focusing on parole eligible cases scheduled for review by the Board during the next 12 to 18 months, the Board is receiving up-to-date and timely information from both the victim and the district attorney.

For more information regarding Victim Impact Sessions or the Georgia Parole Board contact Steve Hayes at 404-657-9450 or [email protected]