Information for Victims
Victims have told us that timely and accurate information and communication are key to meeting their needs. Therefore there are three Information Schemes in place to assist victims of crime. These three Schemes are managed by Probation’s Victim Information Unit. The purpose of the Unit is to give victims information about the Criminal Justice System and key stages of the sentence of the person who has offended in a manner which is accessible, understandable and supportive.
The Probation Victim Information Scheme
Probation’s Victim Information Scheme provides information to registered victims about what it means when someone is sentenced to a Court Order which requires supervision by Probation. A member of staff based in the PBNI Victim Information Unit will explain what the Court Order means and what the individual who has been sentenced must do as a result of the order. This can include explaining the length of the sentence and the type of work they are undertaking as part of the order.
PBNI Victims Unit can also facilitate restorative interventions at the request of the victim and in appropriate circumstances. This can include indirect restorative shuttle dialogue between the victim and offender. Victim offender meetings and letters of apology, more recently renamed ‘reflective letter’ have also been facilitated.
The Probation Victim Information Scheme is available to any person (or agreed representative) who has been the direct victim of a criminal offence for which the offender received a Probation Supervised Sentence.
Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme (PRVIS)
The Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme provides information to any person (or agreed representative) who has been the victim of a crime which has resulted in the offender being sentenced to a term of imprisonment. The PRVIS Scheme applies only to adult prisoners sentenced to at least one sentence of six months or more; or permanently transferred to serve their sentence in Northern Ireland. Sentences of less than 6 months are not part of the scheme nor are cases where a prisoner received a number of sentences of less than 6 months. An adult prisoner is a person over 18 years.
Where an individual has been sentenced to both custody and community supervision the Probation Victim Information Scheme will work in partnership with the Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme.
Mentally Disordered Offenders Victim Information Scheme
This scheme offers victims of people who have offended, and have serious mental health issues, the opportunity to let their voice be heard when considering applications for leave of absence or for the discharge of that person. A separate information sheet will be sent to those eligible to register for this part of the scheme. In cases where the victim of a person who has offended has received a Hospital Treatment Order or a Supervision and Treatment Order the victim / victim family may register to be kept informed of how the order is progressing. This order is supervised by the Mental Health Services. Information will be in liaison with a Victim Liaison Officer at the Victim Information Unit.
The Victim Information Schemes Leaflet provides more details about each of the Schemes.
How do I apply?
You can apply to the Mentally Disordered Offenders Victim Information Scheme, the Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme and/or the Mentally Disordered Victim Scheme using the online form or email/telephone number below.
- Complete the online form or
- Complete and return the form in the Victim Information Scheme leaflet (PDF)
If you are downloading this leaflet and filling in the form you can either post it to the Victims Unit (address provided in the leaflet) or contact the office on T: 0300 123 3269 for a prepaid envelope which will be sent out to you, or
- Contact the Unit using the details below
Victim Information Unit
41-43 Waring Street
Tel: 0300 123 3269
Please read the Victim Information Scheme Privacy Notice
The Victim Charter is a Charter for victims of crime. It explains your entitlements and the standard of service you can expect from Probation and other Criminal Justice organisations. The Charter and other supporting documents can be downloaded via the links below.
Victim Charter (PDF)
Victim Charter – Summary (PDF)
Victim Charter Summary – Translated versions
Victim Charter Summary – Easy Read version (PDF)
Victim Charter – A Guide for young people by young people (PDF)
Restorative Justice Practice Framework
PBNI has launched a new ‘Restorative Justice Practice Framework’. The framework sets out PBNI’s ambition to be the leading organisation for the delivery of restorative practices for adults at all stages of the criminal justice system.
Through the framework, PBNI aims to ensure that all staff keep the victim at the heart of its practice.
One of the first steps in implementing this framework has been to establish a restorative practice forum within PBNI, to bring together practitioners and managers to share good practice, and develop guidance for other staff about how they can deliver services in a restorative manner.
PBNI is also developing new systems to record the number of restorative interventions being delivered and the outcomes for both victims and those who have offended. A training programme is also being developed so that staff can effectively deliver face to face restorative meetings where needed.
PBNI is committed to progressing its restorative work to help put victims at the heart of the criminal justice process and ensure their views are heard. This framework will help us achieve that.