Bishop of Southwark asks about prison sentences

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 27th October 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government, what steps they are taking to resolve the situation that 608 prisoners under Imprisonment for Public Protection are at least 10 years over their original tariff.

Lord Bellamy (Con): HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) has delivered a substantial reduction in the number of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners who have never been released, from over 6,000 when the sentence was abolished in 2012 to 1,492 at 30 June 2022. Prisoners serving indeterminate sentences who have completed their tariff will be released only when the independent Parole Board concludes that the risk they present to the public is capable of being safely managed in the community under probation supervision – and that applies to the cohort who have served at least ten years in custody after they completed their tariff.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act introduced an amendment which requires the Secretary of State automatically to refer every eligible IPP offender to the Parole Board for consideration of licence termination annually once they reach the 10 year eligibility point. This will enable the IPP licence, and the IPP sentence as a whole, to be brought to a definitive end for more offenders.

The Government is carefully considering the evidence and recommendations of the Justice Select Committee report. A full response to the report will be provided in due course, and the IPP Action Plan will be reviewed and refreshed to ensure it is focused on the critical aspects that will best support the progression of those subject to IPP sentences.


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