On Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th November we welcomed Victim Liaison Officers (VLOs) to the Parole Board office to find out more about our work and to meet key staff.
Following the delivery of our regional joint VLO training events with NOMS earlier this year, last week we opened our doors for VLOs to visit the Parole Board.
We arranged a morning of discussions with different departments within the Board:
The administration team explained the Member Case Assessment (MCA) process and the timings involved with ensuring a Victim Personal Statement (VPS) can be considered at the paper review stage. They also highlighted the proposed rule change for releasing IPPs on the papers.
Parole Board Members provided their perspective on cases where victims are involved and answered any questions the VLOs had on their decision making and the use of the VPS.
The listings team explained how oral hearings are listed and all the factors that need to be taken into account. They highlighted that any requests for the hearing to be in the morning or afternoon, or for certain dates such as anniversaries to be avoided, should be submitted to us as soon as possible to be considered.
Case managers explained how they progress cases that are to be heard at oral hearing. They highlighted that it is useful to have the details of the VLO as early as possible in cases where there is victim engagement.
As well as these discussions, an update was provided following the completion of the victim project, and the transition of those project outcomes into business as usual tasks.
The VLOs who visited also had a chance to meet with staff members from the Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS) and the Mental Health Casework Section (MHCS) within NOMS.
Both VLOs and the Parole Board staff and members benefitted from the open discussions and exchanges of experiences shared on both days. The Parole Board will be looking to invite VLOs to visit again in the future.