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Victim Impact Sessions provide more opportunities for crime victims to meet with the Parole Board

July 1, 2022

The Georgia Office of Victim Services (GOVS) and the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office conducted the second Victim Impact Session this week. Crime victims were able to meet in person with State Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairman Terry Barnard and clemency staff to discuss the parole status of offenders in their cases and to provide information to the Board.

It is the second Victim Impact Session conducted. The first was in April in Hall County.

Victim Impact Sessions involve crime victims meeting with Parole Board Members.

“The Board is committed to meeting directly with registered crime victims as a ‘measure-component’ of an offender’s review for parole as we have done previously on a larger scale,” stated Chairman Barnard.

“We believe in making the Board Members available to meet with crime victims. By conducting these smaller sessions with crime victims, we can spend more time discussing each case with the victims. We travel to where these victims live and we are saving them the time and the expense of coming to us,” added Barnard.

Information provided by victims to the Board is added to the case files of offenders for the Parole Board Members to review at the time parole is considered.

The District Attorney in the Brunswick Judicial Circuit is Keith Higgins. The circuit comprises five counties: Appling, Camden, Glynn, Jeff Davis, and Wayne.

“Victims need a voice in the parole process and those who were able to meet with Parole Board officials were provided that opportunity. I applaud the Board for collaborating with our Victim Advocates Office to set up these meetings, to listen to these crime victims, and inform them about the parole status of the offenders,” stated DA Higgins.

“The meetings were important to the victims,” he added.

Parole Board Member David Herring met with victims in Gainesville in the first Victim Impact Session conducted with Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh. The circuit includes Hall County and Dawson County.

Herring says the meetings are beneficial both to the Board and crime victims.

“It’s important that we have all available information regarding a case and the offender before we make parole decisions,” Herring states.

Chairman Barnard says the Parole Board remains committed to hearing from crime victims and including their voice in the decision-making process.

The Georgia Office of Victim Services represents registered crime victims of offenders who are incarcerated or under community supervision. GOVS is a division of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and represents the Parole Board, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Community Supervision.

To learn more about the Georgia Office of Victim Services, and the Georgia Parole Board visit or contact Steve Hayes in the communications office at 404-657-9450.