New Parole Handbook Empowers and Educates Incarcerated Individuals and Their Families
ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Today, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) released the third edition of its Parole Handbook: A Guide to the Parole Consideration Process for People in Georgia Prisons and Their Families. SCHR’s Parole Handbook provides comprehensive and accessible information to help incarcerated people and their family members better understand, advocate, and navigate Georgia’s extremely complicated parole consideration process.
Over the last year and a half, Georgia’s rank as a national leader in incarceration has been exposed. More and more citizens are aware that Georgia has the highest rate of correctional control in the nation with an enormous accompanying price tag that has simply become unsustainable. The current economic climate paved the way for Gov. Nathan Deal to prioritize criminal justice reform legislation and the passage of HB 1176 that addresses the states addiction to incarceration. While measures such as accountability courts are a step forward, they do not address the massive population of people who are currently incarcerated.
SCHR receives approximately twenty to thirty calls and letters every day from people in prison and their families requesting help on a range of criminal justice challenges. The first edition of SCHR’s Parole Handbook was published in 2003 in response to an ongoing trend of numerous weekly requests from incarcerated people and their families for clarity on Georgia’s parole process. The Parole Handbook can be read and printed at http://www.schr.org/files/post/ParoleHandbook.pdf.
“Our Parole Handbook shines a light on one of the least transparent yet most complicated parts of our criminal justice system,” said Sara J. Totonchi, Executive Director of SCHR. “By publishing a new and improved Parole Handbook, SCHR is empowering family members of incarcerated people to be better advocates by lifting the cloak of secrecy that blocks their access to Georgia’s parole process.”
Georgia law classifies parole files as “state secrets” (O.C.G.A. § 42-9-53). This exacerbates the already extremely difficult and challenging experience for families who are coping with having an incarcerated loved one. For hundreds of families across Georgia, understanding how the parole consideration process works can be an urgent matter, yet available and understandable information is very hard to find. Not only do people in prison and their families want and need information about the way their parole decisions are made, but they want to know how the overall parole consideration process works and what each person can do to help improve the likelihood of parole being granted.
Founded in 1976, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) is a non‐profit public interest law firm dedicated to enforcing the civil and human rights of people involved in the criminal justice system in Georgia and Alabama.
For additional information, contact Kathryn Hamoudah at 404/688-1202 or email@example.com