The role of victims in parole board decisions

K.J. McLachlan

Victim Support Service (SA) and Parole Board of South Australia, katherinem@victimsa.org

How much influence do victims of crime have in whether an offender is awarded parole and under what conditions?

The author examines the current rights of victims of crime to influence adult parole board decisions across Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions.

She then considers the international evidence relating to the involvement of victims in parole decisions, with regard to benefits to victims and relevance when predicting risk and future offending behaviour of parolees.

Finally, drawing from the views of actual Parole Board members from Australia and New Zealand, the author examines the weight and importance given to victims of crime and their wishes when parole board decisions are made.

Through the consideration of these three factors, the author attempts to answer the question: What is the role of victims of crime in parole board decisions?

Biography

Katherine is the victim representative on the Parole Board of SA and Quality and Research Manager, VSS. She has 15 years’ experience working in policy and research relating to child protection, youth justice and violent offending particularly violence against women. She worked for South Australia Police and was the Sexual Assault Analyst for the AIC. She has also previously worked in the NFP sector. Katherine holds a Research Masters degree in Law (Victimology) and an Honours degree in Psychology. She has taught criminology subjects at Flinders University and UniSA. Katherine is the SA representative on the ANZSOC Committee of Management.

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