Making the Parole Board work for victims
Today Why me? and The Parole Board publish two jointly produced leaflets to raise awareness and understanding of one another’s roles with victims and offenders.
A joint letter from Lucy Jaffé, Director of Why me? and Martin Jones, Chief Executive of The Parole Board has been published to accompany the release of the two leaflets:
- Restorative Justice explained for Parole Board Panel Members
- The Parole process explained for Restorative services and practitioners
Why me? is delighted that the Parole Board has not just listened to victims’ concerns but has taken action to improve members’ knowledge of restorative justice.
Rosalyn, Why me? Ambassador said:
Victims’ voices need to be heard and respected. I am delighted that Parole Board CEO Martin Jones and (former) Chair Nick Hardwick have committed to supporting this Why me? Initiative to improve victims’ experience.
The initiative for this work came from two women, who have both survived serious sexual crimes, both met the men who attacked them in Restorative Justice meetings, and who both have experience of the parole process. They were determined to ensure that Parole Board Panel Members should understand Restorative Justice and how it works, so that when cases come before them, where Restorative Justice has taken place, they can make well-informed decisions about the relevance it may have on parole deliberations.
Why me? asked the Victims’ Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, to take up their cause. In her 2016/17 annual report, Baroness Newlove invited the Parole Board to take action. As a result, during 2017, Martin Jones, Chief Executive of the Parole Board and Lucy Jaffé, Director of Why me? met with all the parties and committed to ensuring that factual information was available for Parole Board Panel Members.
Martin and Lucy listened very carefully to these two very courageous women and made a commitment to them and the Victims’ Commissioner that this work would be progressed. The publication of this leaflet is a great step forward and delivers on this promise.
As part of this work, Why me? presented two seminars about Restorative Justice at the Parole Board annual conference in November 2017. Why me? and one brave and determined victim, Rosalyn, also presented to the Parole Board member victim focus group which began the joint working on preparing this information sheet. Why me? also consulted the Restorative Justice Council who were very supportive of this initiative.