Making the Parole Board work for victims of crime

Why me? and the Parole Board worked together to support better understanding of Restorative Justice among the Parole Board’s panel members, and better understanding of the Parole Board among Restorative Justice services and practitioners.

There are increasing numbers of people coming up for parole who went through Restorative Justice. Why me? has received enquiries from victims of crime who were concerned that Restorative Justice is not well-understood by Parole Panel members. There were concerns about the value of Restorative Justice, the way in which it can be interpreted as part of rehabilitation, and how well Parole Board members’ understand the Restorative Justice process and the outcome agreement.

Why me? have been working with two victims of serious crimes, Rosalyn Boyce and Claire Chung, to promote better understanding of Restorative Justice within The Parole Board, supported by the then Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove. We attended the 2017 Annual Parole Board conference to introduce our project and Rosalyn 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

Four victims shared their experience of The Parole Board process:

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 Victim Personal Statement was challenged by the Chairman of the Parole Board and it was suggested I omit certain sentences of my statement, which rendered it almost meaningless.

After doing Restorative Justice 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 here.

We would like to hear about your experiences of crime, Restorative Justice and experiences with the Parole process. Please get in touch by email at lucy.jaffe@why-me.org.

© 2020 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.

To find out more about our Restorative service and policy work during COVID-19,please click here