Georgian delegation visits Eastern District of Tennessee

tsj state news 1By Sharry Dedman-Beard

During June a group of official delegates from the Republic of Georgia will visit the United States to learn about the U.S. criminal justice system and enhance their efforts to modernize their justice sector/system. The visit will begin in Washington, DC, where the delegates will meet with various representatives from the State Department, Pretrial Services for the District of Columbia, Bureau of Prisons and Department of Justice (DOJ).  After their short stay in Washington, the group will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., where they will be hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

During their visit, the delegates will study how the probation/pretrial services system operates in federal court. The week will include meetings in both Chattanooga and Knoxville with the U.S. attorney; assistant U.S. attorneys; U.S. probation officers; U.S. district and magistrate judges; local defense attorneys; and federal, state and local law enforcement representatives. They will also attend court hearings to observe typical proceedings in federal court. Additionally, to ensure they experience the local culture, several leisure activities are also planned throughout the week for the delegates including a baseball game, cookout, and concerts at the annual Chattanooga Riverbend Festival.

For the last two years, Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Steve Neff, a federal prosecutor with the Chattanooga office, was detailed as OPDAT’s RLA in Tbilisi, Georgia. While on detail in Tbilisi, AUSA Neff worked closely with Georgian government officials as well as the Georgian legal and law enforcement community, including justice ministry officials, prosecutors, judges, investigators and members of parliament, to develop and implement justice sector assistance programming aimed at modernizing Georgia’s criminal justice system. The current visit of these delegates to the United States is a continuation of those efforts.

“We are pleased to host the Georgian delegation in their quest to enhance their justice system. We are honored that they would choose to visit our office and district to help them understand the American system in a way that could help them further strengthen the rule of law in Georgia and aid them in their goal of Euro-Atlantic integration, including accession into the European Union (EU) and NATO,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian. “Our partnership and friendship with Georgia is vital to the interests of both nations and we welcome the opportunity to exchange ideas and knowledge with our friends from Georgia.”

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