From June 10-20, the U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement and the Office of the Resident Legal Advisor organized a study visit for a high-level Georgian delegation to Washington, D.C. and Tennessee to introduce Georgian justice sector representatives to the practice of U.S. pre-trial services. The objective of the visit was to determine how Georgia could provide greater alternatives to incarceration into its current pre-trial judicial system and ultimately establish its own pre-trial services office. Deputy Minister of Interior Archil Talakvadze, First Deputy Minister of Corrections and Probation Kakhi Kakhishvili and Deputy Chief Prosecutor Giorgi Gabitashvili led the delegation, which also included an appellate judge, practitioners from the NGO community, the Ministry of Justice, and others.
The Georgian delegation met with the representatives of the pretrial service offices in Washington DC, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee. During the meetings, U.S. probation service officers addressed various topics related to the operations of pretrial service offices – from handling financial and human resources to the details of compiling pretrial reports and cooperating with prosecutors and law-enforcement agents. The delegation attended pre-trial and sentencing hearings and had an opportunity to observe jury selection process and a jury trial.