VICTIM INPUT INTO THE PAROLE PROCESS
In 1986, the Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted legislation designed to recognize the importance of involving the victims of crime and/or their family members in the criminal justice system. Of particular interest is the involvement of victims in the parole decision-making process. Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) 439.340 details the rights and responsibilities of victims and mandates the Parole Board to notify victims of scheduled parole hearings. The definition of “victim” may be found under Terms and Definitions.
The law also provides guidelines concerning the procedures to be followed to allow victims’ written input and verbal statements to the Parole Board. Victim Hearings provide an educational opportunity for both the victims and the Parole Board Members. Victims may provide information that the Parole Board may not be aware of. This input personalizes each crime and enables the Board to understand and appreciate the effects of the crime on the victims. Information shared by victims at the hearings, as well as information from the Victim Impact Statement (VIS), is confidential. Victims may choose to have the hearing open or closed. If the hearing is closed only the Parole Board has access to the victim’s testimony.
In the process of providing input, victims are also afforded the opportunity to better understand the statutes and regulations that determine parole eligibility. Many victims also have questions concerning the inmate’s behavior, program participation and other aspects of their incarceration.
Two full time staff members are responsible for notifying victims of upcoming parole hearings, processing VIS’s, scheduling Victim Hearings and assisting victims in other ways. Victim staff may be reached via email at email@example.com
Additional Victim Assistance Numbers
Kentucky Attorney General’s Victim Advocacy Division
Kentucky Domestic Violence Association
Kentucky Crime Victim Compensation Board
800-469-2120 or 502-573-2290
Kentucky Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline
800-752-6200 or 502-595-4550