Probation publish booklet to let registered victims tell their stories

To raise awareness and encourage victims of crime to sign up to the Victim Information Schemes managed by Probation, a ‘Victim Stories’ booklet has been published today, which provides testimonials from victims and enables them to explain in their own words, how the schemes have supported them.

At the Victim Stories launch are Probation Chief Executive Amanda Stewart, Victims Unit Manager Jean O’Neil, Probation Board Member Dr Jonny Byrne, DoJ Permanent Sectretary Richard Pengelly & NI Prisons Governor David Kennedy

There are three Victim Information Schemes in Northern Ireland which provide information about the sentence served and supervision of order / licence; the month and year in which a prisoner is expected to be released from custody and the conditions of release; and if the case is referred to the Parole Commissioners, an opportunity to submit a victim report, or the victims own written submission for consideration by the parole panel. The booklet highlights stories and feedback from victims who have registered with the Schemes.

Speaking about the launch of the booklet Amanda Stewart, PBNI Chief Executive said: “In working with people who have offended Probation ensure that victim’s voices are at the centre of our service delivery. We do this by challenging offending behaviour and by confronting the impact the crime has had on the victim.  We also work directly with victims of crime and one of the ways we do this is through the Victim Information Schemes. Everything Probation does is about preventing further victims of crime.

This publication gives victims and survivors a voice and enables them to explain in their own words how the service provided has supported them. This in turn enables Probation and other organisations to continually improve our services.

The stories shared in this booklet by the victims makes difficult reading, but they are also inspirational in how they have each been able to cope in the worst of situations. They all found support in different ways through registering with the Schemes and we hope that this will encourage other victims to do the same.”

Max Murray, Board Chair continued: “While some victims do decide to register there are many who don’t, for a number of reasons. Signing up to the Schemes will allow victims to receive information about the key stages of the sentence of the person who has offended in a manner which is accessible, understandable and supportive.

The stories also highlight the important role played by the Victim Liaison Officer which can include involvement in Restorative Justice options with the victim/s consent and the signposting to other appropriate / relevant services such as Women’s Aid. Working in partnership is key to the effective running of the Schemes and we also work closely with community restorative groups as well as Victims Support NI in order to ensure that our work is victims focused.”

The three Victim Information Schemes available are: PBNI Scheme for cases where the person who has offended has been given a Probation Supervised sentence; Prisoner Release Scheme for cases where the person who has offended has been sentenced to time in prison; and the Mentally Disordered Scheme for cases where the person who has offended has been given a Hospital Restriction or a Supervision and Treatment Order.

More information about how to register with the Schemes can be found on on our Website

Click here to view the ‘Victim Stories’ Booklet.

ENDS

For more information contact Lisa Maginnis 07979758011