Victims Invited to Meet with the Parole Board

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Staff Reports

Cordele Dispatch

CORDELE – The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is inviting crime victims to meet with Parole Board Members in

Cordele on October 17, 2017. The Victims Visitors’ Day is being coordinated by the Georgia Office of Victim Services

with the Cordele Judicial Circuit Victim-Witness Assistance Program and the Office of District Attorney Brad Rigby.

The Victims Visitors’ Day begins at 9:30 a.m. and will take place at Blackshear Place, located at 1001 Blackshear Road,

Cordele, Georgia 31015.

At the event victims will be able to discuss the parole status of the offender with a Parole Board Member. Victims may

share information about the case that they want the Board to consider when determining possible parole for the offender.

Parole Board Chairman James Mills says it is important for the Board to have all available information before deciding if

an offender should be released on parole.

“This is truly one of the most rewarding things we do as Board Members, is to meet face-to-face with victims, hear their

information, the impact of the crime, and let them know that they’re not being left out of the process,” said Mills. “We’re

able to ensure that the victim understands the parole decision making process and as a victim, their place in that process.”

The crime victims who attend will learn of the many services offered by the Georgia Office of Victim Services and the

three agencies that support this office. In addition to parole, personnel from the Department of Corrections and the

Department of Community Supervision will be available to answer questions from victims. Victims not previously

registered as a crime victim with the state, will be able to register in Cordele. Registration ensures victims receive

notifications regarding status changes with the offender including Board decisions and possible releases.

Chairman Mills says no one asks to be a crime victim.

“They simply want to know what to expect and get their questions answered. We try and understand the pain they’ve

endured and their losses. We hope that through this event victims will continue the process of becoming restored and

become crime survivors,” stated Mills.

District Attorney Brad Rigby is encouraging victims to participate and register for the event.

“The Cordele Judicial Circuit welcomes the Parole Board to the city of Cordele in efforts to provide information to

victims of crime and to receive information from our victims,” Rigby said. “I believe that victims all over the South

Georgia area will benefit from this event to know and understand their rights and role in the parole process.”

The Victims Visitors’ Day in Cordele will be the 28th event since it began in 2006. The Board and the Georgia Office of

Victim Services have met with more than 3,300 victims and family members during that time.

All crime victims are welcome to attend this event in Cordele. To schedule a meeting with the Parole Board and receive

additional information, crime victims are asked to call the Georgia Office of Victim Services at 404-651-9701 by October

16th. Walk-ins are welcome should a meeting not be pre-scheduled.