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Justice (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

68Information about discharge and temporary release of prisoners

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The Secretary of State must make a victim information scheme and may from time to time make a new scheme or alterations to a scheme.

(2)A victim information scheme is a scheme requiring the Secretary of State to make available information about the discharge or temporary release of persons serving sentences of imprisonment in Northern Ireland imposed in respect of the commission of offences (“imprisoned offenders”) to victims of the offences who wish to receive it.

(3)A scheme—

(a)must require that information as to the month in which it is anticipated that an imprisoned offender will be discharged is to be made available under the scheme, and

(b)must require that, unless it is not reasonably practicable to do so, the fact that the temporary release of an imprisoned offender is being considered is to be made available under the scheme.

(4)A scheme may require that other information relating to the discharge and temporary release of imprisoned offenders is to be made available under the scheme including, in cases of a description specified by the scheme or in which the Secretary of State considers it appropriate, the date on which it is anticipated that an imprisoned offender will be discharged or temporarily released.

(5)A scheme may provide that in circumstances of a description specified in the scheme, or in particular circumstances in which the Secretary of State considers it appropriate, a person who is not the actual victim of the offence but was directly affected by it is to be regarded for the purposes of the scheme as a victim of the offence (as well as any actual victim).

(6)A scheme may provide that in circumstances of a description specified in the scheme, or in particular circumstances in which the Secretary of State considers it appropriate, a person other than the actual victim of an offence is to be regarded for the purposes of the scheme as a victim of the offence (instead of an actual victim).

(7)A scheme must specify how victims are to indicate that they wish to receive information under the scheme.

(8)The Secretary of State is not required to make information available under a scheme—

(a)if he believes that to do so would adversely affect the well-being of the actual victim of an offence or a person who is regarded for the purposes of the scheme as being a victim of an offence by virtue of subsection (5),

(b)if he believes that to do so would threaten the safety of any person, or

(c)in other circumstances specified by the scheme.

(9)A scheme may make different provision in relation to—

(a)different descriptions of imprisoned offenders, or

(b)imprisoned offenders convicted or sentenced at different times.

(10)“Discharge” includes release—

(a)on licence, or

(b)in pursuance of a grant of remission,

(whether or not subject to conditions); and “discharged” is to be construed accordingly.

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