Victim Notification Scheme

In some cases, victims of crime are entitled to receive information about the offender if they were sentenced to more than 18 months imprisonment. This takes place as part of the Victim Notification Scheme, managed by the Scottish Prison Service.

Where offenders have been sentenced to less than 18 months, victims are entitled to know only of the release or escape of the offender. To receive this information, you do not have to register with the scheme but can contact the Scottish Prison Service directly.

Victim Support Scotland can help you find out if you are eligible for the scheme or you can contact the Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service on:

01389 739 557 / enquirypoint@copfs.gsi.gov.uk

To register for the scheme, VIA can give you a form to send to the Scottish Prison Service.

Please note: not everyone is eligible to sign up to the Victim Notification Scheme.

There are two parts to the Victim Notification Scheme. When you register, you can decide what information you would like to receive.

Part One

Part One entitles you to receive certain information about the offender within 48 hours:

  • The offender’s release date (you are not entitled to know their location after release)
  • The offender’s eligibility for temporary release (for training programmes, home leave, etc.)
  • If the offender escapes or absconds
  • If the offender returns to prison for any reason connected to your case
  • If the offender is transferred out of Scotland
  • If the offender dies before being released
  • If an offender is granted unescorted suspension of detention from hospital for the first time, meaning they can leave the hospital for set amounts of time without an escort or supervision

Part Two

Part Two entitles you to know whether the offender is being considered for parole or for release with an electronic tag (Home Detention Curfew). You’ll have the right to:

  • Send a statement to the Parole Board for Scotland when it is considering your case
  • Send a statement to the Scottish Prison Service when it is considering releasing the offender with an electronic tag

The Parole Board for Scotland and the Scottish Prison Service must tell you if:

  • They recommend the release of the offender
  • There are any conditions of the release which affect you or your family

The Scottish Prison Service must also tell you if they send written comments to the offender’s responsible medical officer before they issue a certificate allowing the offender unescorted suspension of detention from hospital for the first time.

Victim Support Scotland can help you decide whether to join the Victim Notification Scheme.

If you’re joining the Victim Notification Scheme, we may also be able to help you prepare your representations for the Parole Board for Scotland.

You can get in contact to discuss the Victim Notification Scheme using one of the way listed below.

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help