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26 June 2023

Prison Reform Trust written evidence on the Victims and Prisoners Bill

The Prison Reform Trust’s written evidence to the House of Common’s public bill committee on the Victims and Prisoners has been published.

The evidence will inform the committee’s line by line scrutiny of the bill, which is set to conclude on 13 July. All the written evidence received by the committee is available here.

PRT has particular concerns regarding the provisions of part 3 of the bill, which make controversial changes to the parole system, including a new power for the secretary of state to review and refuse a release decision made by the Parole Board in certain serious cases. This measure and others raise significant constitutional questions regarding the independence of the judiciary and compliance with human rights obligations. If enacted, they are also likely to be subject to further legal challenge.

We share the view expressed by many victims’ representatives and other organisations in the wider criminal justice sector that the majority of the provisions of part three should be removed and the bill returned to its original purpose as a victims bill.