Georgia Parole Review Winter/Spring 2021 - Page 4

APAI calls on State Parole Leaders

to discuss Successes and Challenges

Parole officials from around the country recently participated in virtual meetings to discuss various topics. Chris Barnett, the Executive Director of the Georgia Parole Board, was among parole officials from ten states to take part in the initial session.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to discuss common issues and learn from each other. By sharing our individual state approaches to the everyday challenges that we face, we can strengthen our individual operations,” states Barnett.

“Ultimately all states share the commonality of enhancing public safety through parole decision making. These will be important sessions among peers as we move forward,” he added.

The series of discussions is facilitated by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Association of Paroling Authorities International (APAI) through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Some of the topics being discussed include operating during a pandemic, the use of technology and data and the varying degrees of authority and responsibility each state may have regarding parole authority.

Two such meetings have taken place thus far as the parole leaders share challenges and successes providing opportunities for each state to learn from the discussions and enhance their individual operations.

“The Council and the Association are to be commended for putting together this series of virtual discussions among peers. I think each of the states participating foresee implementing some of the recommendations that will come from these meetings,” stated Barnett.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles met in August of 2020 and in January of 2021 amidst the pandemic. The public meetings allow for the Board Members to review and vote on policy changes. The meetings also afford the Board operational updates from the Executive Director and staff. Parole case reviews and decisions however are not a part of the monthly meetings. Parole case considerations and decisions regarding offenders receiving or being denied parole are made daily by the Parole Board Members. The agency continues to operate normally during the pandemic.

January 2021 Meeting

The monthly meeting of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles was held January 12, 2021.

January 2021 Meeting

The monthly meeting of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles was held January 12, 2021. Due to COVID-19, appropriate protocol was followed during the public

meeting.