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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Thank you for writing in with your comments on the IPP sentance

 

Last Name:  Jez         
                                  
 Message
 
 
 
 
Hi Katherine, 

 
Hope your doing ok. My friend has had her parole hearing deferred for a second time for the same reason. Outside probation haven't done a risk assessment. Poor girl is pulling her hair out.

I really don't see how people cope on this IPP. Persecution is the only word that fits the description of what they are going through.

It appears that probation aren't willing to commit to taking these people on and are using stalling tactics., causing the subject and their family yet me stress and anxiety 😢 Katherine, you are a tower of strength to so many. Where you get all the energy to do so much is beyond me. You are a princess in a world full of dragons.

 


 Response

Hi Jez, it saddens as I am hearing this across the board from  families moreover  hundreds of inmates  stating the same in there letters, Something must be done, as it is oversight of a bigger problem.
 

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Last Name:  
Maz                                   
 
Message:  
 
      
 From
Hi i am on a ipp sentence and will have been out for 3 years on the 17th of February. The main issue I face today is actually the uneducated probation officers I face weekly on the outside. In my eyes I got treated better and for fairly on the inside and received greater support on the inside than I do today. Now I have been homeless for nearly 6 months with very little to no support from a service that I'm supposed to on release. Like I said above my offender manager doesn't even understand the sentence I'm on, or the licence. Every time I manage to find work they want the details so they can confirm the job which I then lose because of them doing so. I've received no rehabilitation from them and do everything I can in life to move on from this way of life with no change in the way I am treated by them. The last 6 months have been by far some of the hardest months I've had to live but I still have not gone back to the way of life  that got me this sentence in the first place.
 
My question is after jumping through all the hurdles to get released and all the hurdles since being released why aren't I being treated any different from the day I got released. I was 15 when I got this sentence and now I'm coming up 24 and the only change in my life is the changes I have made to my attitude and my behaviour with very little help from the system.
 
He now how am I expected to move onto a different path of life in general when services such as probation constantly drag me back down to where I was to begin with. Every week when I leave that building is anger and content to a system that has continually failed me since I was 8 years old. Some advice would be much appreciated as to be honest jail was easy compared to the problemsender I facING at the moment. Thanks
 

 
Response

Thank you for writing in joe . i am sorry to hear of your situation, did you not get a  social worker?
It is clear to me that probation and the social services have let you down ,  you should not be on the  streets.
I would go and seek support in these areas: Council and social services and if  probation has broken down then i would  phone the  prison & probation Ombudsman for further advice on your situation.
 
It is clear to me that probation and the social services have let you down and you should not be on the  streets. I would go and seek help from council and social services  if probation has broken down then phone the  prison & probation Ombudsman for further advice.

Probation is a huge problem and I brought issues up at the meeting with  Nick Hardwick. He stated he would make a lot of changes in this area.  I want to see these changes more transparent .
Still it is  made very difficult  for many to access services additionally when they keep changing the officers and more difficult if you get an officer that picks on you and makes life impossible. Red tape which does not make it easy to complain, a good reason why they are in failing.
 
From time to time there is a probation officer who is not doing his job. If you find yourself facing a probation officer who is not doing what he is supposed to do, you need to understand what steps to take to deal with your situation.

Prepare Complaint

Many probation offices provide a person wanting to lodge a complaint with a standardized form to use. So before you do anything about the probation officer who isn't doing his job, ask your probation office if there is such a document.
 
if no such document is available--prepare a detailed report or complaint show why you feel the probation officer is not doing her job. Do not merely make opinionated statements; instead, list specific facts that support your contention that the probation officer is not doing her job.
 
Attach any supporting documentation to the complaint to support the specific facts you list. If there are witnesses, get basic statements from them to include with your complaint.
Do not lodge a complaint over the phone.
 
 
You report the problem to the immediate supervisor. If no action is taken, then you could go to the supervisor's .

Report to Supervisor

Schedule an in-person meeting with the probation officer's supervisor.
Through a face-to-face meeting, you are better able to present more fully the information concerning the shortcomings of the probation officer's performance. The supervisor will also able to ask you specific questions and clarify points that may confuse her.
 
Next

The prison and probation Ombudsman

They  can investigate issues about the way you have been treated. This includes decisions and actions (including failures or refusals to act) relating to the management, supervision, care and treatment of those people listed below. You should always complain directly to the provider of the service in the first instance to try to get the problem resolved.
If your complaint is not resolved or you are not happy with the way your complaint is dealt with, then you can submit your complaint to them.

They may be able to look at your complaint if you are:

  • a prisoner serving a prison sentence (including both public and privately run prisons)
  • a prisoner on remand
  • a young person held in a secure training centre or YOI
  • a detainee held in an immigration removal centre
  • under supervision by the probation services (including Community Rehabilitation Companies)
  • living in a probation approved premises
  • complaining about escorts to or from these establishments
  • recently released and complaining about a problem that occurred while you were detained.

http://www.ppo.gov.uk/investigations/make-complaint/how-to-make-a-complaint-dvd/

https://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmiprobation/about-hmi-probation/complaints/.


https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/national-offender-management-service/about/complaints-procedure

http://hub.unlock.org.uk/knowledgebase/complaints-probation/




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Last Name:  Jez         
                                  

Message
 
Dear Katherine,

 
Well, fwiw, BBC and 38D are all part of distracting people to an early, very boring demise. More worthy talk. Manipulated truth. No action.
Why play the establishment game ?  Ask yourself why you should trust people (who are also oblivious to how they themselves are being exploited by the money men who actually call the shots in the UK) ! !

 
Suggest (hard to find) sensible, 200% sincere human rights lawyer - pro bono - head for the European Court. Phillip Sands QC a good place to start (but poss too much of a celebrity by now ! ! Ditto Mansfield. Ditto Helena Kennedy.) 
Pressure on “Liberty”, are they really doing what it says on the tin ? !
For me, not playing the game means directly approaching ECHR. Not being drawn into the mindless and intentionally wearying ‘globally envied’ UK only-for-the-rich system.

 
I would also be looking at a very satirical but totally shaming campaign (belonging to you not 38D not BBC) via  ‘twatter’ and ‘arsebook’. 
Use the enemy to metaphorically squash itself ?

 
(Reality. We’re governed by the morally corrupt (Bentham ?) who think revenge/ignoring poverty and blindness to mental health buys votes and gives them highly paid jobs; an excuse for a nation poorly served by a mostly supine, complacent judiciary. Reflect on the metaphor of  “Les Miserables" ?)

 
Otherwise, best of luck going round in circles with most UK media who, in fact, are a major part of the problem. And only as independent as they want you to believe.
Also, dare I say, what about the toll suffered personally by you ?  How will BBC help you with that ?

 
A tiny glimmer of hope for you. Action is better than talk.
p.s. 38D, in fact, far more concerned about pet hamsters and food additives than they are about achieving a truly fair, democratic system ! ! !
 
Yes. Please take care of the toll on you (costs and ‘notional’ costs/stress built in to the ‘system’ to deter change for the good of course ! The patriarchy never wants to be shown to be wrong ! !).
 
(a) Suggest direct approach by (old fashioned) letter. e.g. Phillip Sands or even Michael Zander (legal academics) may invite students to have a look for you.Does require ‘robust’; also rattling cages. 
 
Beware of empty promises, weasel words. . . .  my (similar) interest area (parental alienation - stockholm - bullying of children by a parent - institutional incompetence)
. . . . very senior writer/journalist; also another academic,  “yes yes yes ! ! “  .  (Read Kafka; The Tria if you haven't already.)Often ‘establishment’ individuals are frightened to go against the system. The repercussions on their ‘legacy’ ! ! ! 

(b) Psychology/philosophy; The Prince. . . . . subtle, masked shaming of the ‘great-talkers-yet-‘do-nothings’. Shame into helping. Would be very helpful to harness the power certain individuals still possess. Names to think about ?   Starmer. Stephen Sedley. Ken Clark. Carlile/Berriew (poss too grand too status quo ?)
Asking people to put ‘money’ where mouth is. . . . deeds not words. ‘Diagonal’ often better than ‘head-on’.

(c) Sometimes ‘jurisprudence’ (because an monolithic, mindless system for bureaucrats rather than victims) practicalities mean ‘guerrilla’ shaming/irony via fb or twatter. More or less ‘cost-free’.   e.g. Planning my current shaming by posting video say on fb then tweet the link naming the offender (here, NZP and politicians.
Turning oneself into what Private Eye (Paul Foot) used to do when outing crooks and unfairness.

What does it say about the UK ?  When Gove, stooge formerly in charge of MOJ is portrayed as a floating turd wearing specs in a gurniad cartoon (Trump in the swamp) ! !
Most important of all is that you are not consumed by it (see Kafka).

Sincerely and best of luck,  
  
Sincerely,    TJ



Response

Thank you TJ, I appreciate you writing to me. I will welcome any other correspondence or support you can add to the site. 
I have previously advertised for human rights lawyer -pro bono - but nothing. However their is  know harm in asking again .
I have felt like putting up my sleepers because I do feel like I am taking one step forward and one step,  Liz Truss  comes to mind.
 
 
 
 
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Smith
My daughter was given 4 years IPP when she was 17 she is still in prison and she's 26 
 
Tam

Was min 4 years on ipp been in 6yrs,it was street Robbery no violence used, he was 19 and is 25.he went before the board and again was turned down because he refused to do the same courses that he's already done twice now, was a stupid teenager when he went in now he's a ruined man

S. Bay
I am a mother of an ipp prisoner, who has been in prison for 10 years from the age of 15
 
Jones 
Iam a released IPP prisoner serving my sentence in the community on Parole, I served just over 9 years on a 2.5 year tariff
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

BuzzFeed News speaks to IPP prisoners loved ones.

Meet The Women Fighting For Prisoners With No Release Date
Almost 4,000 prisoners in England and Wales have indeterminate sentences and don’t know when, or if, they will be released. BuzzFeed News speaks to three women who are fighting for their loved ones to come home.
Martin Stephens was imprisoned almost 13 years ago, after he pleaded guilty to possession of an air rifle in public, at the scene of a robbery at a branch of Tesco in north London. No shots were fired.
The men who were charged with the robbery and theft of £580 served less than a year in prison. But Stephens, who was charged with only possession, is still inside. Now 51, he has no set release date, and no immediate prospect of being given one.
 
Why is he still in jail? Because Stephens was given a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP). He is detained indefinitely unless or until a parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a threat to society.
Stephens’ tariff – the minimum length of time IPP prisoners must serve before they can be released – was one year and 47 days. He has served eight and a half times that. Given that prisoners are typically released after half their sentence, if their behaviour is good, Stephens has served the equivalent of a 26-year sentence.
He had already served 15 years for robbery in an earlier, unrelated incident. Almost half his life has been spent behind bars.
 
Jacquie Fahy, Stephens’ partner of four years, who is campaigning for his release, says it’s clear he poses no public threat. “The gun wasn’t used, he didn’t make a threat to kill – obviously the security guard was frightened. But it was a petty crime and he didn’t even do [the robbery], they only charged with him with the firearm, not for the robbery,” says Fahy. Yet after repeated parole hearings – which happen only every year or two – Stephens is still in prison.
 
IPP was brought in by the 2005 Labour government as a way to extend the sentences of some offenders guilty of sexual and violent crimes, and then abolished in 2012 by the Coalition. The chief inspector of prisons, Peter Clarke, last year called the sentences “completely unjust”. But some 3,800 prisoners who were given IPP sentences before 2012 are still stuck with them.
Some 87% of these prisoners have served more than their original tariff and 42% are more than five years over.
In some cases, such as that of Stephens, they could have spent less time in prison if they had been given a determinate sentence for a more severe offence.
 
 
“It’s a terrible thing to say, but he should have shot [someone] because he might have got out by now,” says Fahy of Stephens’ actions at that Tesco years ago. “And how can you go around saying things like that?”
BuzzFeed News spoke to Fahy and two other women who have dedicated their lives to getting a firm release date for IPP prisoners. Each of them says the men they are supporting are losing the will to live in the face of endless uncertainty.
 
Each says they are struggling against an overworked, complicated, and bureaucratic system in which it can take months or even years to secure a parole hearing.
Amid the crisis of violence, understaffing, and drug use plaguing Britain’s jails, these men are held years after they should have been released. If they do get out, they will spend at least 10 years on licence, meaning they can be put back in jail for the smallest of infringements.
 
Fahy says that she has campaigned so hard on this that Home Office staff know her by name. She has received written replies from a range of politicians who are sympathetic to her position and met with Boris Johnson in his tenure as London mayor to discuss the case. Johnson told her he owned guns himself and had never heard of a case like this. She says Johnson told her, “He would have been better off doing a murder, in terms of the time he’s been in there.”
 
All three women accept that their loved ones did wrong and owed a debt to society. But they now live with the stress of not knowing when, or even if, these men will be released.
“I’m sorry, it’s just really upsetting. People don’t know how hard it is,” says Fahy. “They’re not getting back to him and he thinks he will never get out. He doesn’t want to live. I’m out here trying to sort things out and getting nowhere.
 
“And now I’ve got him saying he doesn’t want to live. I’m falling apart myself – he says I’m positive but I’m not really.
“If you murder someone or you’re in there on a sexual assault, at least they get out, which you hear about in the news all the time.”
Nick Hardwick, the head of the parole board in England and Wales, replied to Fahy’s desperate pleas in a letter to say his board took the matter seriously. He said in November last year that the board was seeing 40 prisoners a week and releasing 40% of them; he added that the IPP population had dropped from 6,000 in 2012 to just under 4,000 in late 2016.
 
Hardwick previously said that 1,500 IPP prisoners would be released by 2020, adding that others should not be released because of the threat they still posed.
Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, last year said progress in releasing the prisoners had been “painfully slow”.
The problem is partly one of resources – the backlog was so great that 100 new parole board members were hired last year – but also policy: The board will only release prisoners who fulfil its criteria for parole, which aren’t made public. A Ministry of Justice briefing paper says that evidence is taken from professional witnesses, such as psychologists.
 
Government intervention could change this: Former justice secretary Michael Gove has urged the current secretary, Liz Truss, to use her powers of executive clemency to release the 500 IPP prisoners who had served longer than a normal sentence for the same offence.
The families BuzzFeed News spoke to argue that the reality is that petty infringements and a focus on prisoners completing spurious courses contribute to parole being denied.
 
IPP prisoners often have to complete a series of “offender behaviour courses” to prove their eligibility for release, with names like “Think First and Enhanced Thinking Skills” and “Controlling Anger and Learning To Manage It”. The courses are not compulsory, but failing to attend could affect the risk assessment that parole board decisions are based on.
 
“At Warren Hill [prison] where he is now, he turns up at these courses and they ask him why he’s there, that he doesn’t need to do it,” says Fahy. “Then he gets upset.”
Fahy told BuzzFeed News course leaders are just as bemused as Stephens about why his attendance is necessary.
Stephens has also had his chances hurt by bad behaviour, some of which was the result of errors by the prison system, says Fahy. He became angry after receiving the drug test result of another prisoner and “told them what he thought of them” and kicked a fence.
 
The mix-up was accidental, but the damage had been done. The outburst was noted by the parole board. On another occasion, he was denied category D status – effectively “open” prison conditions, where community releases can be arranged – due to what Fahy calls an administrative error.
“People on IPP won’t reoffend [on the outside] but they will in prison, 100%,” she says. “Because if they speak their mind it’s classed as aggression. And then you can’t get out because they count that against you or send you on another course.”
 
The maximum period between parole hearings is two years and typically they are given every 15 or 16 months. In some cases this period can be shortened if there is evidence the prisoner is making good progress.
Parole decisions can’t be appealed but prisoners can launch a judicial review – but the bar for success on review is very high and all it would achieve is another hearing.
And while the men remain in prison, they experience the difficult conditions of violence, understaffing, and drug use plaguing Britain’s jails.
 
“Someone died in the cell next to his yesterday. They left them all day in the cell, they had a heart attack. He [Stephens] got all upset about it and was in mental health [treatment] today. He fell out with the screw over it,” says Fahy.
“But how can you physically leave someone in there all day? It would make me go off. He started saying that if they can leave a dead person in there from 8am to about 6pm, if you can’t even move a dead body out of prison, what chance is there of getting out alive?
 
Susie is obsessed. She researches the law surrounding IPP sentences on a daily basis and stays in touch with a solicitor.
“My brain doesn’t stop going the whole time. If I’m not thinking about him, I’m thinking about ways to help him. And not just him but everybody [on IPP sentences],” she says.
“I feel like I hold the key and his freedom is on my shoulders. I feel like I have the key and I can’t find the lock. It’s somewhere but I don’t know where. But I have to find it.”
 
Her partner – she asked that he remain anonymous and that BuzzFeed News use only her middle name, for fear of affecting his parole chances – is 31 and has been inside for 11 years. His tariff was two and a half years, for aggravated burglary, yet he spent his entire twenties inside.
The hardest thing for her is how despondent he can be.
 
“They’ll keep him in there and put him on another course, all of which institutionalises him even more. This guy’s tortured, he’s being mentally tortured. He doesn’t have any hope. His solicitor says he hasn’t come across anyone as hopeless,” she says.
“To be honest with you I’m glad he doesn’t have hope because it’s the only way he is still here. If he hoped for a future, if he prayed for the life he had, if he hoped every time that parole came back and he got knocked back for some stupid nicking [being disciplined for an infringement] he got the year before for something ridiculous, he would be on the road to self-destruction.
 
“The maximum, very maximum, sentence he could have served for the crime he did was nine years without IPP – and that would have been four and a half custodial and the rest served [in the community] through probation and on a tag. He would have been out and able to move on with his life about a year and a half ago.”
He handed himself into the police and pleaded guilty, but – partly because of a previous offence he committed as an 18-year-old – he was given an IPP.
He was due to have a parole hearing in August 2016, but it was delayed. As Susie puts it, “You’re looking at a six-month sentence just through being on parole delay.”
 
“I go and see him once a week and I don’t think there’s 30 seconds that goes by where we don’t look at each other and think, ‘One day,’” she says. “And every time I leave I think, ‘One day.’
“I’m jealous of people with husbands inside who just have to wait until 2018. They’re lucky. They don’t have to contact the solicitor every five minutes asking, ‘Will this help? Will this help?’
“I just feel like he’s been screwed over so much, I can’t just leave him and do nothing. But I’ve chosen this.”
 
Jennifer O’Gorman is campaigning on behalf of Matthew Thomas, 55, who was given a three-year tariff on an IPP sentence in 2010 for attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, in a road-rage incident – a row over a parking space.
Thomas isn’t O’Gorman’s partner but her best friend. She was friends with his wife before she died.
“The judge said that if he was given a determinate sentence he would have given him six years. He’s now done seven and he’s still waiting for review,” she says.
 
“He was supposed to have a review [hearing] last year and he wasn’t even informed about it; it was just done on paper instead, and it was refused.
“He’s had a lot of misfortune. He went in in 2009 around December, and the following July his wife died of cancer. He had a heart attack the following year, his mother died the year after that. He’s developed lupus since being in prison – a lot of that is stress-related.”

 
For O’Gorman, the injustice of the situation is almost too much to take. “The fact [is] that the IPP sentence was abolished in 2012, so why would you just leave people languishing in prison with no hope?” she asks.
“But it’s the sheer backlog of it at the moment. Everyone is saying it’s wrong and inhumane but how do you cope with the paperwork?
 
“This is somebody’s life. A lot of people don’t care, it’s like ‘he’s not on the list [for a parole hearing], just wait for the next one.’ He’s vulnerable in prison because of his health.”
As with many other IPP prisoners, Thomas had previous offences and had been to prison before. And O’Gorman admits that what he did was wrong, but she argues that his debt to society is now paid.
“Obviously, you did the crime, you serve the time. But surely you’ve paid your debt. In Matthew’s case it doesn’t matter what he did in the past. The man he had a fight with wasn’t psychologically damaged or hospitalised.
 
“He’s done seven years – that’s equivalent to a 14-year sentence for an altercation that any of us could get into.
“Every time I go and see him you feel like you don’t want to leave him there. He’s surrounded by young men who are in and out, in and out and fighting all the time. He’s described it to me like being in a minefield that can go off at any time.
“How do you have hope when you don’t have an end date? That’s the crux of it. He does all this good in prison, he’s a wing rep, he’s an older prisoner rep, he’s a medical prisoner rep, he’s helping people filling in forms who can’t write English, he’s doing victim awareness and talking to people about restorative justice. He’s not a silly man, he’s a very intelligent man. He’s doing all this stuff, but all he wants to do is come home.”
 
O’Gorman points out that even if Thomas is released, that won’t be the end of it. IPP prisoners are typically released on licence, meaning they are bound by a strict set of rules and close monitoring in the community – any infringement could send them back to jail. For IPP prisoners this arrangement lasts for at least 10 years – unusually long.

 
“He does think it’s an unfair situation,” she says. “Especially when you consider that when he comes home it’s not really freedom to be on licence. Any misdemeanour, any little thing that causes you to be late for a [probation] meeting, and you’re gone.”
O’Gorman points out that because IPP sentences were given to violent and sexual offenders as well as those in jail for petty crimes, that means there isn’t much sympathy over the issue.
“I think the fact they’ve grouped it all together, with violent crime and sexual crime, that’s made it harder – when it’s paedophiles, people don’t want to know.”
 
She raises the prospect of a legal challenge from the IPP prisoners “for the years they have lost”, but then adds: “Matthew would say he doesn’t want the money, he just wants his freedom.”
Frances Crook, CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform, told BuzzFeed News: “Open-ended sentences are grossly unfair as they remove hope and clarity.
“Whilst efforts are being made to move people through the prison system more quickly, the problem looming is the fact they will all be subjected to licence for life. People are already being recalled to prison for petty reasons.”
 
The Howard League says it is working with David Blunkett, the minister who introduced the sentences, to abolish the life licence and replace it with a fixed term of community-based observation and support on release.
 
The Ministry of Justice said in a statement: “We are working hard to reduce the backlog of cases involving IPP prisoners. We have set up a new unit within the Ministry of Justice to tackle this issue and are working with the Parole Board to improve the efficiency of the process.”
For the families of IPP prisoners, the wait goes on.
 
“I do believe that people who do something wrong should pay the price,” says O’Gorman, “but we all need an end date, we all need a light at the end of the tunnel.”


 
 
 
 
 

BBC Radio are looking to speak to people whose family or friends are serving an IPP sentence















 

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

 
The Guardian  said,  I would not hold out any great hopes for the recycled and tired initiatives announced by Liz Truss. Leroy Smith quoted I spent years in a prison believe me more prison officers  will not solve  the crises .further hiring £9 hour prison officers want produce safe, humane prisons. GP I've seen the crises in jails and half the inmates should not be there.

"Start asking question,s."

Just after Liz Truss speech on her recycled reform along and tired initiatives  I  noticed prison  after  prison  rioting   why?  Inmates retaliating enough is  enough there  tied of the old record in the reform . Inmates  are frustrated  with the  humane conditions  the poor justice system, no legal aid. The disability act  ignored and poor medical health, being a snap shot."
 
"We need prisons to be safe......" 

The Prison project says the prison and probation services in England and Wales are failing to protect the  public because they do not rehabilitate offenders, and that they should be radically restructured. They are failing to protect the prisoners.
 
 
 
Inspectors reported crowded conditions and rising levels of self-harm and that not going to change over night so what's the   answer? The   answer is to to let those out that should not be there. The public don't want there tax money wasted on prisoners  that should  not be there at  no  fault of there own. The public want a safer and educated environment.
 
Tired initiatives
The Report in  May 2016  states we will take urgent  steps to improve the security in our estate and the safety of staff and prisoners. But since this reporting  early 2016 we have had nothing but riots and more deaths."
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmjust/647/64702.htm




However  it still ignores the central issue of population.
In January, 2016 the RSA and Transition Spaces embarked on the Future Prison project, which sets out how prisons in England and Wales could better support rehabilitation. Stresses that this needs to form the foundation of wider and deeper system change.  



 Work was grounded by a number of principles

  • Recognition that loss of liberty is punishment and that what follows should be driven by the aim of returning people to their community in a state and to conditions most likely to reduce risk and increase community safety.
  • Courageous and strategic political leadership informed by evidence and articulated through a consistent and compelling narrative.
  • Safety and security to be managed effectively by using not just the best technical tools and intelligence available but also through culture change that reduces risk through enabling rehabilitation.
  • Policy and practice that drives deeper and wider integration of justice and resettlement services;
  • Approaches to rehabilitation that create the conditions for positive relationships that support progress in custody and beyond.
  • That prison leaders, staff and service users have access to the resources, opportunities and capabilities needed to fulfil their potential and strengthen rehabilitative cultures.



There reform agenda we set out is focused on creating community-based rehabilitative prisons that are part of, and that contribute to, their local communities. Governors will be able to use their budgets to purchase goods and services locally and will be empowered to work with employers to match training to the skills that are needed in that area.

Returning officer grade old levels alongside a 2020 skills strategy, would provide the opportunity to create a new, rehabilitative prison workforce able to do the difficult job that prison officers undertake on our behalf. This should be supported by creating a Centre of Prisons Excellence that will train existing staff, alongside their new colleagues, and make this vital job more appealing to potential employees and more rewarding for those that work in the system.

In the longer term, placing the budgets in the hands of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will incentivise a local discussion about the purpose of prisons and their relationship with probation, with their local economies and communities. PCCs will not only be responsible for dealing with crime once it has happened, the onus will also be on them to prevent crime and, if they wish to save money, to think harder about who we are sending to prison and what happens while in custody and on release.

In supporting this change we propose that prisons and probation be subject to a new legal duty to rehabilitate and a clear central strategy driven by the Ministry of Justice ?but supported by other departments including the Treasury.
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) should become a smaller arms-length body that sets minimum national standards and focuses on population management and the high security estate. An enhanced and integrated inspection regime would enable autonomy to be managed safely.

As shown in the below diagram, prison governors, guided by local boards, will be given new freedoms to commission services such as food, education, and energy. The diagram attempts to convey the opportunity for prisons to work together, and form clusters (when they feel this is appropriate), but this will be their choice and, ultimately, they will be held accountable for the outcomes, alongside local prison boards


devolution prisons matter of conviction



The Report Recommendations
 
The Ministry of Justice should publish a 2017–2020 National Rehabilitation Strategy.
This should focus on reducing risk and strengthening rehabilitation, prioritise integration between prisons and probation and have the explicit support of other departments, including the Treasury, the Department of Health, the Home Office, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions. The strategy should seek to drive long-term system change and prioritise the following 10 key changes:
 
Create a Rehabilitation Requirement — The government’s white paper should include a rehabilitation requirement for prisons and probation. This should be a legal duty and require prisons and probation to track individual and institutional progress in relation to rehabilitation
 
Return frontline staffing to 2010 levels — As a foundation of reform, additional investment is urgently needed to reduce security and safety risks and to protect prisoners and frontline workers.
 
A 2020 Rehabilitative Workforce Plan —Linked to new recruitment, this should develop a new training offer, skills strategy and career paths for prison officers and focus on developing a rehabilitative workforce with transferable skills across prisons and probation.
 
A Centre of Prisons Excellence — Delivered through an ambitious model for the current training centre, Newbold Revel, this should learn from the College of Policing and consideration should be given to a centre working across prisons and probation.
 
An arms-length, more independent NOMS — NOMS should become a smaller arms-length function with greater independence from the Ministry of Justice. This would focus on resilience issues such as population management, the high-security estate and particular security issues.
 
An enhanced and more Integrated Prison and Probation Inspection Regime — This should include making the prisons inspectorate compliant with the obligations from OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture), which should be put on a statutory footing. The inspectorates should develop consistency on assessing rehabilitative outcomes such as education, employment and family relationships and introduce outcomes on leadership and management. A review of Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) should be undertaken to explore the potential of developing their role to track inspection recommendations.
 
Creation of Local Prison Boards — In developing greater autonomy, stability and ensuring safety and risk are managed, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) should hand over prison funding to local boards and prison governors with some key obligations that ensure that the national resilience work and population flow is mandated. Local prison boards would oversee long-term strategy and should aim to increase governors’ tenure as appropriate. Such a move would retain the national prison service but enable greater local control, including the development of special purpose vehicles to drive innovation and integration, and secure additional funding from private/corporate/charitable partnerships. The local prison board could include representation from a major employer in the area, health providers and commissioners, prisoners’ families, the local authority economic development lead, a housing provider, NGO consortia, Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs), the local FE and university, the National Probation Service (NPS), the area criminal justice board lead and a member of the prison’s rehabilitative council.
 
New devolved powers for governors and PCCs — In giving governors greater freedoms and introducing more local autonomy, the government should adopt a staged process of devolution with a focus on expanding the remit of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and ensuring that scrutiny arrangements are in place to take on wider responsibilities and risk. In the interim, Regional Rehabilitation Boards would be responsible for developing Regional Rehabilitation Strategies 2017–2020 in line with the national strategy and vision of the new Rehabilitation Requirement.
 
Integration of Health Services — In addition to involving Public Health England and the NHS in developing more devolved arrangements, the government should ensure that Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) provide clear statutory guidance on people on licence in the community, and those in custody, and that Health and Wellbeing Boards be instructed to include prisoner populations explicitly in their priorities.
 
Designing in Rehabilitation —The government’s prison building programme should be informed by first principles and by evidence of what supports rehabilitation, including size, locality, available networks and employment.
A Matter of Conviction argues that this model will ultimately serve to create a self-improving, more cost effective and innovative system.


Download the report - A Matter of Conviction (PDF, 5MB)
Read the blog - Rehabilitation is key to reducing risk in the prison system




 
 




 
 COMMENTS

 
Brackenbury What about a Protest outside liz trusses office, let's say April time, in school holidays so children can come too, who's in??? We need at least a few thousand, which is highly achievable if every ipps family brought at least 3-4 people with them, I totally understand some struggle with getting there due to cost or distance, but we are at a point now where we've tried pretty much everything and got nowhere, it's time this lady saw the amount of people it affects, the children, partners, mums, dad's, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and their friends too,
I feel we have to give this a go, I'm sure there are people who can share the journey on here with others, if we all help each other, could organise coaches if there's alot of people from certain areas, it may cost us money, but it's a one off for those we are fighting for, surely they are worth every effort, these men are taking their lives now with still no end in sight, we are all they have and so many of us are doing nothing, so please, grab your family/friends and we can do this, but we need to make alot of noise now! Can people who will deffo come We are going to contact the inside times and ask for a post on their site to spread it to a wider audience, maybe contact a few organisations and the media, if anyone has any contacts or can help with anything that will be great! Also suggestions for an exact date would be good, will have to be a week day as we've all seen she doesn't give up her weekends!!
 If we all write our personal letters explaining our pain and misery and that of our ipps to of course!... We can drop it In her little post box while we are there.
As much as Michael Gove  has rattled my cage in recent years, even he has taken the time to give extensive thought to the state of prisons and the rights and wrongs, so for that I applaud him, he's hit every point in this statement....
 
dullman I am  going to send a letter to probation he needs to be near us me and kids if release is granted and give them a list of hostels to look at that ain't to far from us. Last thing we need is him  far away  emough 10 yrs and missed out on bringing our kids up they were babies when he went in and toddlers.10 year with a 10 month tariff!
 
Horton And as I've said before, at least  Michael Gove  actually DID something while he was Justice Secretary. He didn't just mouth cliches. As a teacher who saw the mess Gove made of the education system, I was expecting more of the same when he became Justice Secretary. But he surprised me - and he has consistently said all the things in this article, right from the start, and he tried to sbegin putting them into practice. Then he self destructed and we got Liz Truss....
 
Wheeler 
Hello everyone, I have not been keeping up to date for a while, things all got a bit too much and I needed to step back a bit. I can't say too much but this is a bit of a ray of hope for all of us. Someone who was on an IPP from about 10 years ago was up before the Parole Board recently and to his complete shock without warning was released a couple of days after. I can't reveal any more but it renwed my hope that people are albeit slowly getting released and I thought I would share.
EdmeadCant believe a good friend of mine has his parole date..
Reland At least more inside staff are speaking out.
Foster I was planning a protest as my partner wasn't being moved to make the progress he needed to so they obviously didn't want a protest because of riots .
 
Brackenbury
Protest outside liz trusses office, let's say April time, in school holidays so children can come too, who's in??? We need at least a few thousand, which is highly achievable if every ipps family brought at least 3-4 people with them, I totally understand some struggle with getting there due to cost or distance, but we are at a point now where we've tried pretty much everything and got nowhere, it's time this lady saw the amount of people it affects, the children, partners, mums, dad's, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and their friends too,
I feel we have to give this a go, I'm sure there are people who can share the journey on here with others, if we all help each other, could organise coaches if there's alot of people from certain areas, it may cost us money, but it's a one off for those we are fighting for, surely they are worth every effort, these men are taking their lives now with still no end in sight, we are all they have and so many of us are doing nothing, so please, grab your family/friends and we can do this, but we need to make alot of noise now! Can people who will deffo come please comment, and any questions please comment below or ask me or natasha,
We are going to contact the inside times and ask for a post on their site to spread it to a wider audience, maybe contact a few organisations and the media, if anyone has any contacts or can help with anything that will be great! Also suggestions for an exact date would be good, will have to be a week day as we've all seen she doesn't give up her weekends!!
  If we all write our personal letters explaining our pain and misery and that of our ipps to of course!... We can drop it In her little post box while we are there.
As much as Michael Gove  has rattled my cage in recent years, even he has taken the time to give extensive thought to the state of prisons and the rights and wrongs, so for that I applaud him, he's hit every point in this statement....
 
 
dullman I am  going to send a letter to probation he needs to be near us me and kids if release is granted and give them a list of hostels to look at that ain't to far from us. Last thing we need is him  far away  emough 10 yrs and missed out on bringing our kids up they were babies when he went in and toddlers.10 year with a 10 month tariff!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 


 
 
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