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The Government’s Victims and Prisoners Bill was put up for its second reading in the House of Commons on 15 May. The legislation aims to ensure minimum levels of support that victims can expect from criminal justice agencies and gives the Justice Secretary powers to appoint public advocates to support bereaved families and victims of major incidents. It also includes proposals for a range of reforms to the parole system, including giving the Justice Secretary the power to overrule the Parole Board and decide when serious criminals can be released.
Many stakeholders have welcomed the efforts to provide greater help to victims. However, some have called for the government to provide dedicated funding for its proposals, while others have said the legislation does not go far enough and the parole reforms risk detracting from the focus on victims.
This Dods Political Intelligence report provides a guide to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, including an overview with details of its key elements and a range of political and stakeholder reactions since it was published in late March.