Government bill focuses on victims of crime

March 29, 2023


Prisoner releases could be blocked while inmates may not be permitted to get married inside under government plans to reform the parole system.

The new Victims and Prisoners Bill is aimed at giving greater rights to victims of crime in England and Wales.

Ministers promise to make it easier for crime victims to get justice.

Some victims of crime, especially of rape and sexual assault, feel that the criminal justice system has let them down.

Police investigations are slow and shared information scarce or non-existent.

Many cases never get to court or are dragged out without adequate explanation.

Critics are likely to seize on government attempts to protect victims’ right at the same time as reforming the parole system.

Unde the plans, vistims will be allowed to challenge decisions.

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I want to make sure that the drift away from public protection [in the parole system] is curtailed.

“Our reforms will improve the experience for victims from the first meeting with a police officer to the support they get in court. and we will refocus the parole system on its overriding duty to protect the public from violent and sexual criminals.”


Whole-life prisoners will be banned from marrying behind bars under the new rules.

A Labour spokesman said: “Victims are now waiting years for a trial because of record court backlogs, with criminals getting off scot-free at a record rate. Rape victims are suffering on average for three years as they wait to hear their case in court.”

Diana Fawcett, chief executive at Victim Support, welcomed the measures “which will make a real and meaningful difference to the experience of victims”.

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