Mike Penning answers MPs’ questions to the Ministry of Justice.
A constituent of mine and her sisters were sexually abused by their father over many years. He is now prison. The sisters were eligible for compensation, but my constituent was not as her abuse stopped before 1979, yet she continues to suffer the trauma of the abuse. Will the Minister please look again at this unfair rule?
My hon. Friend kindly informed me of this case, and I would like to meet his constituents, if possible. This is difficult because even when the 1964 scheme was amended in 1979 this was not done retrospectively. I can understand what the family are going through, but it is a difficult situation when a line is drawn and a date is put in any compensation scheme. It has not been retrospective in the past, and probably will not be in the future.
Understanding the impact of crimes on victims should be central to education in prisons. What steps are Ministers taking to help develop that agenda, particularly among prisoners who have committed the most serious crimes?
I believe the whole House would think that restorative justice, and victims’ involvement in it, is crucial. That will be part of the victims’ law proposals that we will come forward with in this Parliament.