N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--May 1997

Commission Unveils New Service for Crime Victims

By Tracy Herring

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has created a new service for crime victims whose offender is being considered for parole. Crime victims will now have the opportunity to present information to the Commission via the N.C. Information Highway.

"We are very pleased to be offering this new service to crime victims," said Commission Chairman Juanita H. Baker. "It is important that victims be heard during the parole review process and this new program will allow them to be involved without the economic burden of having to travel to Raleigh to present their views."

Currently, the Commission meets with victims only in Raleigh. The new program will allow victims to travel to a specified location nearer their home and talk with a commissioner who is in Raleigh via a link on the Information Highway.

  Carron Suddreth, a victim who has participated in Commission victim meetings in the past, talks with news reporters

The first round of video conferences is scheduled for May and will link Pitt Community College in Greenville with Raleigh. Victims whose offenders are scheduled for a parole review in a three-month time period will be contacted by the Commission and offered an opportunity to present their views either by writing a letter, scheduling an appointment with the Commission in Raleigh or by participating in the video conference. After victims contact the Commission and indicate they would like to participate in a video conference, the specific date, time and location for the video conference will be scheduled. The program will eventually expand statewide.

Funding for the video conferences is provided by a grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission.

The new victim service was announced April 15 during a press conference held simultaneously in Raleigh and Greenville. Among those who made comments were Jane Patterson, senior policy advisor to Governor Jim Hunt; Carron Suddreth, a victim who has participated in Commission victim meetings in the past; Tom Haigwood, the district attorney in Greenville; and parole commissioners.

NC DOC Correction News- May 1997
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