Today in Parliament, the Government introduced its new Victims and Prisoners Bill, which aims to put victims at the heart of the justice system.
The parole system, which Lucy has frequently criticised for its failure to keep serious violent and sexual offenders behind bars for the majority of their sentence, will also be subject to fundamental reform.
The Victims’ Code will be put on a statutory footing, giving rights to victims of crime including the ability to challenge decisions and access vital support services such as the Independent Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse Advisors. The bill will allow the Secretary of State for Justice to veto the release of dangerous prisoners before their sentence has been served in full and prevent prisoners serving a whole-life order from entering into marriage or civil partnership.
Lucy Allan MP said:
This is a huge step forward. Throughout my time in Parliament one of my top priorities has been to campaign on behalf of victims for a fairer justice system.
I have seen victims of serious sexual and violent crime being let down too often and their rights simply ignored. As Telford’s MP I have seen the impact on victims of the early release offenders with serious criminals being granted parole, sometimes without warning. I have been determined to change this and have worked closely with every Justice Secretary since I became an MP improve the system so that it works for victims and wider society.
This new bill will tackle many of the issues that victims have raised with me and I am grateful to the Secretary of State for Justice for introducing this bill today.
You can read a letter to Lucy confirming the details of the new bill from Victims and Sentencing Minister, the Rt. Hon. Edward Argar MP, below.