Making the Parole Board work for victims

Published: Wed, November 14th, 2018


Why me? and the Parole Board have collaborated to support greater awareness of Restorative Justice amongst The Parole Board Panel Members and also to increase understanding about The Parole Board process among Restorative Justice services and practitioners.

Victims of crime who have had Restorative Justice and where the offender is coming up for parole are increasing in number

Why me? received enquiries from individuals who were concerned that Restorative Justice is not well-understood by Parole Panel Members. There were concerns about the value of Restorative Justice and the way in which it can be interpreted as part of offender rehabilitation, as well as questions around the Parole Board members’ knowledge of the Restorative Justice process and the outcome agreement.

Why me? has been working with Rosalyn Boyce and Claire Chung to promote better understanding of Restorative Justice with The Parole Board and have had support from Baroness Newlove, the Victims Commissioner. We attended the 2017 Annual Parole Board conference to introduce our project and our ambassador Rosalyn Boyce has provided Victim Awareness training with the Parole Case workers.

The Parole Board has not just listened to victims’ concerns but has taken action to improve members’ knowledge of Restorative Justice.

The result of the collaborative work throughout 2018 is the development and publication of two leaflets:

  1. Restorative Justice explained for Parole Board Panel Members
  2. The Parole process explained for Restorative services and practitioners

“Victims’ voices need to be heard and respected and we are committed to moving this work further forward in collaboration with The Parole Board.”

Rosalyn, Why me? Ambassador

Four victims shared their experience of The Parole Board process and this has helped inform the collaborative work:

I don’t know who is on the Parole Board or how much information they might have going forward, so I feel it essential that they do not lose sight of the original index case.

One year my VP statement was challenged by the Chairman of the Parole Board and it was suggested I omit certain sentences of my statement and it was redacted, which rendered it almost meaningless.

After doing the RJ I don’t need anything now. No other part of the Criminal Justice System gives me the chance to speak.

I have had no information from the Parole Board regarding what I am entitled to and what my rights as a victim are.

Read Nick Hardwick’s (former Chair) and Martin Jones’ (Chief Executive Officer) comments, in the news article here 

We would like to hear about your experiences of crime and your RJ/ Parole process! Please get in touch by email at lucy.jaffe@why-me.org.

 

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