According to the New Parole Act commenced on July 30th, prisoners with life sentences must now serve at least 12 years before can apply for parole. Along with increasing the minimum time served from seven to 12, the New Parole Act set up a new, parole board, and clear and transparent criteria for how the board will reach its decisions.
A parole board will consist of Chairperson and 12 members experienced in dealing with victims and prisoners and will be independent in their decision from the Minister of Justice.
Under the new act victims of crime can make submissions to the board, and may receive legal assistance to do this.
AdVIC’s founder and vice-chairperson Joan Deane said for The Irish Daily Mail: ”AdVIC is delighted that the new Parole Board is now set up on a statutory footing. We welcome the increase in the time before parole can be considered for a life sentence prisoner to 12 years, from the previous 7 years. It is essential that the voice of victims be heard in the parole process and we are very pleased to see this is addressed and that victims will be provided legal assistance to engage in the process”.