Victims Visitors’ Day headed to Fort Valley State University

Victims Visitors Day art.

Crime victims and their families can meet with the Parole Board

July 13, 2015 – Victims of crime in Georgia can meet with the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to discuss the parole status of the offenders who caused them to become victims.

The Parole Board Members is traveling to Fort Valley State University on July 30, to conduct a Victims Visitors’ Day. The Opening Ceremony for Victims Visitors’ Day will begin at 10 a.m. at the Pettigrew Center. At this event, crime victims will be able to sit down individually with parole staff and Parole Board Members to give the Board information about their case and how they’ve been impacted by the crime.

The Victims Visitors’ Day is sponsored by the Georgia Office of Victim Services in conjunction with State Representative Patty Bentley who represents House District 139. The Georgia Office of Victim Services serves registered crime victims whose offender is a state inmate or who is under parole or probation supervision.
Representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision also will be present to speak with victims. Questions victims may have concerning an inmate’s incarceration or their community supervision, whether on parole or probation, can be answered by staff from these agencies.

“We’re delighted to have the Parole Board Members available to speak directly with crime victims from my district. The Parole Board has conducted this very important event throughout Georgia since 2006, and by doing so, the Board is telling victims that they matter and that what they say matters,” stated Bentley.
The Board conducts Victims Visitors’ Days around the state in order to make the Board accessible to all crime victims. Since 2006, the Parole Board has conducted 22 Victims Visitors’ Days in 14 different communities and met with more than 2,400 victims.

FVSU Interim President Dr. Jessica Bailey said the university welcomes the opportunity to host such a worthwhile and community-focused event.

“FVSU has an outstanding Criminal Justice program which is offered both face to face and online. In this program, one of the largest on campus, we emphasize the importance of victims’ rights.”

Parole Board Chairman Terry Barnard says all five board members are planning to be at FVSU.

“Victims Visitors’ Day is very important to the Board,” stated Chairman Barnard. “We want to hold as many of these events as possible in order to ensure that victims have a voice in the process. This Board is fully committed to understanding the issues of victims and their families,” he added.

Chairman Barnard urges victims to contact the Georgia Office of Victim Services to schedule their meeting with the Board and he says all those requesting a meeting will be seen by a Parole Board Member and/or Parole Board staff.

Crime victims are asked to R.S.V.P. with the Georgia Office of Victim Services. Appointments can be scheduled by calling the toll free number at 1-800-593-9474 by July 28, 2015. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Victims registered with the office can register to receive updates on offenders through the Victim Information Program (V.I.P.), a 24-hour automated information system providing victims of crime and their families with access to information about their offender. V.I.P. has more than 20,000 registered victims.

The Georgia Office of Victim Services serves crime victims for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Georgia Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision.
For more information about the Parole Board or Victims Visitors’ Days, please contact the Office of Communications, Director Steve Hayes, at 404-657-9450 or steve.hayes@pap.ga.gov, www.pap.georgia.gov or contact FVSU’s Office of Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6319.

Pictured: A speaker at a previous Victim Visitors’ Day.