The Parole Board for Scotland has backed reforms to the parole system to allow victims to have a greater say.
In response to the consultation on transforming parole in Scotland, the Board said that it “supports the principle of victims and their families having a greater voice in the parole process.”
They also go on to say that they have no objection to victims and families attending parole hearings, or to the principle of them receiving more information about the reasons behind a Parole Board decision.
The response comes off the back of the Michelle’s Law campaign, which was organised by the Stewart family after their daughter’s murderer was approved for temporary release.
The campaign has already been backed by the Scottish Conservatives, and calls for victims to be put back at the heart of the justice system.
Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr MSP said:
“There is now a growing consensus around the need for victims and their families to have a larger role in the parole system.
“For too long they have been marginalised in our justice system, and that’s why Michelle’s Law aims to place them back at the heart of it.
“It’s encouraging that the Parole Board for Scotland agree with us that it’s time for change.
“Through allowing victims and families the chance to have their views heard in parole hearings we can ensure that their concerns are taken into account.
“But we also need to see more use of exclusion zones so we can offer more protection to those these offenders have hurt.”
Notes to editors
The Parole Board for Scotland’s consultation response can be read here: