MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – People who have fallen victim to offenders are able to reach out for help.
The State Board of Pardons and Paroles invited victims to come out to meet with the board and other government agencies to discuss the impact of crime and the offender’s parole status for ‘Victim Visitor’s Day’.
“Victims are an extremely critical part of the parole process,” says Director of Communications, State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
“One of the things that I think this helps, is for victims to become survivors and we heard some inspirational remarks from our speakers today about that process and surviving and not letting the crime and what has happened to the person or the family take over their lives for the rest of their lives,” Hayes adds.
Five victims spoke at the event and shared their stories and how they overcame their past.
“I talked about how I lost my mother to domestic violence when I was twelve and my brother and sister who are in the room right now were only two. She was strangled to death by my brother and sister’s father;by her ex-boyfriend. Overcoming that really through my family, my faith and finding forgiveness for the offender,” says Ashley Moore who is a victim.
Crime victims met with a parole board member, hearing examiner and clemency staff to answer questions about an offender’s case and provide information to the board.
“Once all of that is done, we take that information and we put it in the parole offender’s file so that board members will have that to review,” Hayes continues.
Some offenders who are no longer behind bars are either on parole or probation. The Department for Community Supervision makes sure they are not in contact with victims, however were on site to discuss the aspect of the offender’s supervision.
David Morrison, Director of Field Operations for The Department of Community Supervision says, “Often times they may have questions about how do you supervise them, what takes place, am I safe, and we reassure them of that.”
Some of the victims who came out were able to register for the first time with the Georgia Office of Victim Services.
The Board of Parole has been conducting these events around the states since 2006.