Local group travels to Forsyth, Ga. for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

Fifty-one people from the Columbus area are traveling to Forsyth, Ga. today as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The local group gathered this morning in the parking lot of Peachtree Mall before piling into two buses and private vehicles and departing. Once in Forsyth, they’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about offenders, deliver victim impact statements and learn more about the state Board of Pardons and Paroles and Department of Corrections.

Danita Bright, who called herself a four-time victim, is a volunteer for the local Victim-Witness Program. She greeted victims as they gathered in the parking lot this morning.

“The lives of our loved ones were just taken away from us,” Bright said. “I want to make sure (the offenders) understand what they’ve done and stay in jail.”

Shelly Hall, director of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit’s Victim-Witness Program, said the trip to Forsyth gives victims an opportunity to have their voices heard.

“By being actively involved, it gives them a chance to extend the time of incarceration,” Hall said. “Pardons and Paroles does pay attention. This visit from these people today will have a huge impact on parole decisions made in the future.”