Under the provisions of the Victims Charter and guide to the Criminal Justice System, which was published during the term of office of the previous Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Prison Service gave various commitments on the sensitive subject of the treatment of and the range of services to be provided to victims of crime or in the case of homicide to the families of the victims.
One of these commitments states that if requested by the victim of a serious sexual or violent offence or by the family of a homicide victim, we would notify the Gardai prior to the release of the perpetrator from prison either on temporary release or at the end of the sentence.
When requested, we currently enter into direct contact with victims/ families of homicide victims, notify them of the prison the perpetrator is servicing the sentence and where appropriate, inform them of any significant development in the management of the perpetrator’s sentence as well as any impending release.
Such significant developments could include temporary releases, parole board hearings, court appearances, prison transfers, etc. Furthermore, whenever submissions are received from victims of crime/families of homicide victims in relation to individual cases, the Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform will have regard to the content of any submission prior to making any sentence management decision on that case.
We also provide victims/families of homicide victims with general information on the prison system such as prison regime, remission on sentences and our system of parole including the operation of the Interim Parole Board.
Should a victim of crime/family of homicide victim wish to avail of this Service, they should write to:
AdVIC would recommend that families avail of this service and make contact with the Irish Prison Service soon after the conviction.
The following information on the Prison Release of prisoners sentenced to Life imprisonment was provided by the Irish Prison Service
A person sentenced to life imprisonment once released from Prison will always be on temporary release. When a lifer is released from prison, he/she will be required to sign on for a long time with their Probation Officer once a week; Gardai will be told of their where-about. The period time of these contact will become longer over time, but monitoring will always be in place and a lifer can be incarcerated at any time if misbehaving.
You will find information about the Victim Liaison Service of the Irish Prison Service , their information booklet and the application form to register with their service at www.irishprison.ie/index.php/