GEORGIA– Crime victims are invited to speak directly to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles at a Victims Visitors’ Day in Gainesville on Oct. 23, at Lakewood Baptist Church. The event will be the Parole Board’s 30th Victims Visitors’ Day since 2006 and the first conducted in Hall County.
Two of the Board’s five members are from Hall County including James Mills.
“Since joining the Board in 2011, I have taken part in every Victims Visitors’ Day. The Board wishes to thank the city of Gainesville and Hall County for being our host,” Mills said. “These events are truly special and very important as we meet with crime victims and their families, and this one will have extra meaning for me."
Board Member David Herring also lives in Hall County.
“In my short time on the Parole Board I have learned the significance of this event. The crime victim’s role in Georgia’s parole process is vital. Although it will be emotional for many victims, I am looking forward to being able to listen and learn,” Herring said.
Herring was appointed to the Board Aug. 1.
At the event, crime victims may meet with parole staff including a Board Member to discuss the impact of the crime and the parole status of the offender who committed the crime. An opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m., at the church located at 2235 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville, followed by meetings throughout the day. Victims not previously registered to receive offender parole status updates can get registered with the Georgia Office of Victim Services while at the event.
The Victims Visitors’ Day is a collaborative of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Georgia Office of Victim Services and the host, the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Victim-Witness Assistance Program. Gainesville becomes the 22nd different community to host a Victims Visitors’ Day.
Lee Darragh is the District Attorney for the circuit.
“Kristen Frame, the director, and the staff with our victim-witness assistance program do a terrific job representing and addressing the needs and concerns of the victims in Hall County,” Darragh said. “In addition, I applaud the Parole Board for coming to Gainesville in order to sit down with crime victims, hear directly their testimonies, and be open to their concerns."
Victims may also speak with representatives of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision as well as learn of the many services offered through the Georgia Office of Victim Services. The event is open to all crime victims.
Information received from victims in meetings with parole staff will be added to the parole case files maintained on the inmates who have committed the crimes. The Parole Board will bring much of the agency’s clemency staff to Gainesville in order to serve crime victims.
Victims are asked to schedule their meeting by contacting the Georgia Office of Victim Services at 404-651-5717 by Oct. 22.