1. Who can make a victim statement
The Parole Board decides if prisoners who are eligible for parole can be released and makes recommendations on whether it’s safe to transfer prisoners to an open prison.
You can make a ‘victim personal statement’ to be presented at the parole hearing if you’re a victim of the prisoner, eg suffered physical, mental or emotional harm, or economic loss.
This is sometimes known as an ‘impact statement’.
If you’re in Scotland, you need to make a written representation to the Parole Board for Scotland.
Relatives of victims
You can also make a statement if you’re a close relative of a victim who:
- has died
- is aged under 18
- can’t make a statement themselves, eg because of mental incapacity or illness
Close relatives include spouses and partners, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and dependants. Other family members, guardians and carers of victims may also be allowed to make a statement.
When a number of the victim’s relatives want to make a statement, the Parole Board may ask that 1 or 2 statements are submitted that represent the relatives.
What a statement is for
The Parole Board panel makes their decision based on whether they think a prisoner is no longer a risk to the public.
The panel will use your statement to:
- find out what impact the offence has had on you
- decide what conditions to put on a prisoner when they’re released
When to make your statement
If you opted into the Victim Contact Scheme, you’ll be told when a prisoner is being considered for parole by your Victim Liaison Officer.
They’ll tell you when to write your statement and will send it to the Parole Board for you.
You can still make a statement if you chose to not join the Victim Contact Scheme. Contact your local probation office
Your statement must be submitted at least 28 days before the hearing.
You can contact Victims’ Information Service to find local help and support.