Victim Statements to the Board
Victims and survivors have a right to provide input to the Board regarding any release hearing for the inmate. There are multiple ways that this can happen. The Victim Liaison is required by statute to provide a written summary of any information the Board considers, to the inmate. A victim or survivor may request limited confidentiality, so that the inmate is not told specifically who shared the information. Any statement to the Board must be received at least 14 days in advance of the inmate’s hearing. Statements to the Board can be written in any format and may contain any information the victim or survivor wishes to share. They may include the following information:
- Information regarding the impact of the crime upon the victim or survivor, including the physical, emotional, psychological, financial, employment, relational and social impacts, as well as the long-term prognosis of victims or survivors.
- Opinions regarding the release decision
- Requests that certain conditions be placed upon an inmate if/when released into the community
- In-life photographs or videotapes of deceased victims
- Descriptions of the actual offense, history of the relationship between the victim and the inmate, and other information concerning the inmate’s personality that will assist the Board in making an informed decision.
Meetings with the Board
A victim or survivor is able to meet with the Board in one of two ways, in-person or over the phone. To meet with the Board in person or by phone, an appointment must be scheduled in advance, by contacting the Victim Liaison. The Board meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month and the inmate will not be present. Prior to the meeting, it is a good idea to write notes to remind yourself of significant things which you wish to share with the board, so if you get sidetracked or are asked a question, you don’t forget something that you want to share. Victims and survivors are often nervous or emotional when they meet with the Board. The ISRB Victim Liaison is available to help you prepare for the meeting and will accompany you.
In person meetings take place at the ISRB office in Lacey, WA. Most victim meetings with the Board don’t last longer than half an hour. If there are several members of a family present, typically one or two people act as the spokespersons and other family members will add something if an important point was missed.
Some victims choose to meet with the Board over the phone. On the scheduled day and time, the Victim Liaison will call you and the ISRB Board members will use a speaker-phone so all of the members can hear you. The only difference between a phone call and an in-person meeting is that you and the Board are not in the same location.
There are also other ways than in-person and telephone meetings to provide your input to the Board:
- Written statements
- Recorded statements
A victim or survivor may also submit a written statement to the Board. Written statements remain in the Board file to allow current and future Board members to read them each time the inmate is scheduled for a release hearing. If you need assistance in writing your statement we have a Statement to the Board template you may use to help you. Some people answer the questions verbatim, while others simply use it as a guide to help them write a statement.
A victim or survivor may also send a recorded statement to the Board in the form of an audio or video-taped statement. The recordings will also become a permanent part of the Board file.
Statements may include the following information, but is not limited to any of them:
- Information regarding the impact of the crime upon the victim, survivor or family.
- The physical, emotional, psychological, financial, employment, relational and social impacts of the crime, as well as long term prognosis of victims and survivors.
- Opinions regarding the release decision.
- Requests that certain conditions be placed upon an inmate when released onto community supervision.
- In life photographs or videotapes of deceased victims.
- Descriptions of the actual offense, history of the relationship between the victim and inmate, and other information concerning the inmate's personality that will assist the Board to make an informed decision.
When requested, the Victim Liaison makes reasonable accommodations to make it possible for victims to provide input to the Board. Such accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Interpreter services
- Text Telephone (TTY) or other voice or hearing assistance devices.
- Age appropriate assistance for child victims or survivors.
- The presence of supportive persons or victim advocates.
- Board member travel to a location of mutual agreement.
For further questions or concerns, please contact the ISRB Victim Liaison.