Who can make a victim personal statement and when
The Parole Board decides if prisoners who are eligible for parole can be released. It also makes recommendations on whether it’s safe for prisoners to be:
- transferred to an open prison
- given a temporary release under supervision (known as being ‘on licence’ or probation)
You can make a ‘victim personal statement’ to be presented at the Parole Board hearing if you’re a victim of the prisoner.
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.
You can use your statement to explain how the crime has affected you - from the time it was committed until now.
This includes the effect the crime has had on you and your family:
Relatives of victims
You can make a victim personal statement if you’re a close relative of a victim who:
- has died
- is aged under 18
- cannot make a statement themselves - for example, 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 more than one relative wants to make a statement, the Parole Board may ask for 1 or 2 statements to represent them all.
When to make your victim personal statement
If you choose to join the Victim Contact Scheme, your Victim Liaison Officer will tell you when a prisoner is being considered for parole.
They’ll tell you when to write your victim personal statement. They’ll also send it to the Parole Board for you at least 28 days before the hearing.
If you did not join the Victim Contact Scheme, you can contact your local probation office about:
- giving a statement
- joining the scheme if you want to be told when a prisoner is being considered for release or transfer