Move to improve transparency and understanding for victims.
Regulations to improve Scotland’s parole system, providing greater transparency for victims, relatives and the public, have been introduced to Parliament.
The proposed changes include:
- creating a specific procedure for victims, who are registered with the Victim Notification Scheme, to observe parole hearings
- establishing new arrangements for the Parole Board to publish redacted and anonymised summaries of their decisions to release prisoners, explaining the reasons for doing so. A summary will also be provided to the victim or family members involved should they wish to receive it.
- making clear that the Parole Board for Scotland may take the safety and security of victims and family members of victims into account when deciding whether or not to grant parole
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf yesterday said:
“Parole is an important part of most modern criminal justice system, in Scotland providing a clear evidence-based framework for determining whether and when someone who has been serving a long-term prison sentence should be returned to the community.
“We made a commitment to simplify and modernise the provisions around parole and these regulations are a step in this direction. The Transforming Parole Implementation Group are building on the public consultation and we will be undertaking a full re-write of the rules later this year.
"I have listened to the experiences of victims and their families, and this has only reinforced my conviction that victims’ needs must be at the centre of the criminal justice system. Importantly, that includes ensuring they have better information, increased involvement and greater support ahead of prison release decisions. I hope these changes will help victims and families bereaved by crime.
“Parole Board for Scotland members do a difficult and complex job which requires careful judgement and expertise in assessing risk. By ensuring openness and transparency, I believe we can strengthen public confidence in an already fair and robust system which recognises the need to provide opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration.”
Colin Spivey, Parole Board for Scotland Chief Executive, yesterday said:
“This is an important step towards more openness. There is more to be done and we look forward to working with the Government and victims organisations to ensure that there is the necessary support in place and to further develop and improve the experience of victims in the parole process.”
Latest News from
South America international border health measures15/01/2021 15:05:00
Updates to public health foreign travel and pre-departure testing.
Victim Surcharge Fund open for applications15/01/2021 12:05:00
A new fund to help organisations provide support for victims of crime using money paid by offenders has opened for applications.
Ireland and Scotland publish Bilateral Review of future relationship15/01/2021 10:05:00
Review recommendations will enhance cooperation and collaborations between Scotland and Ireland.
Strengthening lockdown restrictions14/01/2021 15:05:00
Further measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and limit non-essential contact will be introduced this weekend.
Call for release of £21bn UK COVID-19 reserves14/01/2021 12:05:00
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes is urging the UK Government to release £21.3 billion of reserves to help tackle the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Increase to carrier bag charge14/01/2021 10:05:00
The minimum price of a single use carrier bag is set to increase from 5p to 10p.
Helping to warm homes this winter14/01/2021 08:05:00
A project which helps people struggling to heat their homes has become the first to receive a share of a £7 million fund to tackle fuel poverty this winter.
Pre-departure coronavirus testing update13/01/2021 12:05:00
From 0400 on Friday 15 January 2021, passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.
Understanding the social care support needs of Scotland's prison population: research13/01/2021 10:05:00
This study used statistical modelling to generate a range of estimates for the percentage of the prison population with social and personal care needs, using combinations of existing social care, health, demographic and prisons data.