Parole Board statement on passing of Helen’s Law

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The Parole Board has immense sympathy for families that find themselves in this tragic situation and recognises the pain and anguish they have endured.

The Board is absolutely committed to ensuring that victims and their families are treated with the utmost respect and dignity during the parole process and appreciate the distress that a parole review of the offender is likely to cause. 

We are all too aware that cases where an offender is unwilling or unable to reveal the location of their victim have a massive impact on families of victims.

The Parole Board already has long-established internal guidance in place which advises panel members to consider the reasons for any failure or refusal by an offender to disclose the whereabouts of a victim’s remains when assessing suitability for release.

The Board must ultimately decide whether the prisoner’s continued detention is necessary for the protection of the public.

We will be re-issuing guidance to all panel members to reflect the change in law.

It is also established Parole Board practice to consider the non-disclosure of relevant information by offenders in cases involving living victims.

The Parole Board welcomes the introduction of the Prisoners (disclosure of information about victims) Bill which puts our guidance and current practice into statute.

Published 5 November 2020

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