Georgia Parole Review Winter/Spring 2021 - Page 3

The Parole Board notifies and solicits information from the state’s prosecutors throughout the parole decision making process in order to ensure the best parole decisions. The notifications and solicitations are made according to statute and the board has additional notifications and solicitations that it makes according to board policy.

“Our district attorneys are an integral component of the parole process in Georgia,” states Chris Barnett, the Executive Director of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Barnett meets with prosecutors across the State. Early in 2021, he and staff began meeting with new prosecutors, recently elected to office.

“We want all district attorneys to fully understand Georgia’s parole process so they may take an active role by providing information as the Board considers parole eligible offenders,” Barnett states.

"The Board’s decisions are scientific and informed,” he adds.

Barnett says, “Generally, we have found prosecutors across the State are supportive of parole in Georgia. They want to ensure the Board considers their view of the case and that of their communities as parole decisions are made.”

In March, Director Barnett met with Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit District Attorney T. Wright Barksdale III, Assistant District Attorney Nancy Malcor and the circuit’s Chief Investigator, Mark Robinson.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles presented information to the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia (PAC) regarding victim services earlier this year. The Georgia Office of Victim Services (GOVS) is a division of the Parole Board and represents registered crime victims keeping them informed about the parole status of offenders. Parole Board Deputy Executive Director Rita Rocker and the GOVS staff made a virtual presentation to PACG members.

"Our prosecutors are stakeholders who provide important victim information regarding offender cases allowing the Parole Board Members to consider all available information,” said Rocker.

The Georgia Office of Victim Services represents three state agencies; the Department of Corrections, the Department of Community Supervision and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.

“PAC understands that the need for providing victim services does not end at the conclusion of a criminal trial. We are extremely proud of our partnership with the Parole Board. Rita Rocker’s training gave Prosecution-based Victim Advocates valuable tools they can use to continue to support and educate crime victims on their right to restitution, safety, notification, and information regarding the offender during the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice process," stated Dr. Rita Davis-Cannon, PAC Director of Victim Services.

Learn more about the services provided to registered crime victims at pap.georgia.gov.

Barnett/Rocker Engage PAC

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Winter/Spring 2021