The Chatham County District Attorney's Office and the Victim Witness Assistance Program are working with the Parole Board Office to put on a 2013 Victims Visitors' Day event Wednesday.
"It does help to know that we are not forgotten about, and people have been wonderful to us getting us through all this," said Marion Allen. Allen's son was murdered in Savannah in 2001.
The opportunity to participate in this event locally in Chatham County is extremely rare; with the last opportunity being in 2006. Victim-Witness Assistance Program Director Cheryl Rogers said, "It is the goal of the VWAP Program to continue to give victims a voice and this event allows the Parole Board a chance to hear the impact that crimes have on victims long after their court cases have ended."
Victims of crimes can receive current information on their offender, including maximum release dates, parole dates, where the inmate is incarcerated and register to receive further notification of the offender's status. They can also submit victim impact statements and receive victim service information.
"We are ripping the scabs off of these wounds that are trying to heal, but these folks are willing to do this so that the pardons and parole officers realize that this is not just another file. This was a person, they were murdered, there life was taken, and it puts a face on a file," said Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap.
"I just want everyone to know that I had a precious son and that I will never forget him," said Allen.
Mayor Edna Jackson spoke to the victims as well.
The opening ceremony began at 9 a.m. and appointments hours will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. in downtown Savannah.