Irish crime victims and families will soon have a say on when murderers and serious criminals can get freed from prison
The Parole Board is now urging victims of crime to engage with the parole process
Irish crime victims and their families will have a say for the first time ever when murderers and other prisoners serving life sentences can get freed from prison.
They will be able to partake in the whole parole process and object to serious criminals being given early release back into society.
The new Independent Parole Board is launching a new three week publicity campaign across the media from the start of January informing victims how they can take part in the process.
The creation of the new body over a year ago has already delayed over 100 prisoners being released on parole.
They have only dealt with eleven cases since being established in August last year largely because of Covid and the whole process of setting it up. However going forward they hope to deal with ten to eleven cases a month.
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The Parole Board is now urging victims of crime to engage with the parole process and to get in contact with the Board to exercise that right.
The Parole Board said; ” The victims who have a voice in the process are victims of serious crime – or their next of kin , where the victim has died – and where as a result of that crime a person is serving a life sentence.
” The purpose of the information campaign is to highlight to victims that they have a voice in the parole process.”
Victims and their families are being asked to register with the Parole Board by completing the registration form on the Parole Board website.
The Parole Board will then contact them to ask them if they wish to make a submission in relation to the person who has applied to the Board to have their sentence reviewed.
The Parole Board will also guide victims through the process of making such a submission.
It said submissions can also be made in person or in writing at a specific time, place or format that suits the victims.
Victims can also avail of free legal aid in getting legal help to make their submission.
The Parole Board also said it is important for victims to be aware that the victim submissions are provided to the prisoner who is seeking release as part of the parole review process.
Victims will also be informed of the outcome of the hearing they are involved in if they wish.
A number of notorious prisoners who have served over 20 years in jail are due for release soon including Motorway killer Mickey Murphy from Drogheda , Brian Meehan, the only person convicted for Veronica Guerin’s murder and Limerick gang leader Dessie Dundon.