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Thursday, 26 November 2015

IPP ,Tom Bowen looks in to what the sentences entail,s

Jailed for life UK forgotten prisoners    


VIDEO  sentence with no release date

Published on  2015

IPP Injustice , Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative news, discustiuons with the IPP family,s along with Lord Brown the Perol Board and former prisoner .

5 live Investigates - BBC Radio 5 live

Indeterminate sentences were abolished three years ago but thousands of prisoners remain locked up, unsure when - or if - they will ever be released. Although designed to protect the public from serious violent or sexual offenders, 5 Live Investigates finds they were also applied to some much lower risk prisoners, who have served up to five times their original tariff. Some wonder whether they will ever be released.


Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism

Adrian Goldberg presents cutting edge investigative journalism

Thursday, 19 November 2015

IPP Prisoners Familys Campaign: iPP, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Leftovers o...

IPP Prisoners Familys Campaign: iPP, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Leftovers o...: 19/11/2015 | Bianca Ferrari IPP sente...

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Leftovers of the IPP System

iPP, Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Leftovers of the IPP System

19/11/2015 | Bianca Ferrari
IPP sentences or Indefinite Sentences for Public Protection were introduced in section 225 of the 2005 Criminal Justice Act to keep criminals who committed serious sexual or violent crimes behind bars until they no longer represented a threat to the public. The law was supposed to be applied to cases involving 153 specific offenses that could not qualify for mandatory or discretionary life-in-prison; reports show however that the measures were used in many cases to sentence crimes as minor as affray (fighting in public), criminal damage for less than ‎£20 and shoplifting. Nowadays about 4600 inmates remain in prison without a set release date.
The idea behind these provisions was that the judge would suggest a recommended sentence without determining an actual release date. The prisoners would be required to follow some rehabilitation programs and present their cases in front of a three people parole board, who would then decide if the criminal had actually repented and if he or she could be allowed back into society. Those who were set free had to be on probation for a minimum of 10 years and could be sent back to prison at any time if the conditions of this trial were breached.
The government expected no more than 900 people serving this type of sentences at any time, but in the period culminating with its abolition in 2013 more than 6000 people were convicted with IPP sentences, thereby overwhelming the system. Although the European Court of Human Rights decided that IPP sentences violated the human right to liberty and security established by art. 5 of The European Convention on Human Rights, former Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation Jeremy Wright said that the government has still
No intention of retrospectively altering sentences that had been lawfully imposed before the IPP sentences were abolished, especially as they were imposed to adequate public protection
Today, the system presents major issues involving all aspects of the process. First off, the great majority of inmates have long served their recommended sentences; for example, 773 prisoners were given a tariff of two years or less before 2008: 275 have served at least seven years and 26 among them only received a sentence of 6 months or less. Moreover, the rehabilitation courses, often required by the judge in order to present a case in front of the parole board, are ill-funded and scarcely available. Many detainees have to be put on waiting lists for long periods of time to take part in these programs, or they ask to be transferred to a different facility, only to find out that they had been misinformed and that the courses are not available.
Another major problem emerges once the inmates are released back into society: many of the parole conditions established by the judge are very severe and they might include prohibition to meet with certain friends or family members, requirements to be in strict contact with the parole officer and restrictions to the person´s mobility. As a result, since 2012 more than 50% of IPP prisoners released on parole since have been called back to prison.
Finally, budget cuts have seriously affected the parole board system on multiple levels: First of all, the amount of cases that can be heard each year is in decline. Secondly, often parole officers have very few time to analyze the situation of single prisoners, which leads non-self-evident cases to be often deferred. Moreover, an essential part of each case is supposed to be built on reports that especially appointed offender managers should regularly write about each IPP prisoner in order to monitor their progress or lack thereof; However, many prisons had to cut back on hiring staff so IPP inmates often cannot present the necessary documentation to make a case for themselves in front of the board. All these factors contribute to the fact that between 2012 and 2014 only 400 prisoners a year were released, which means that it could take up to eight years before all prisoners are out without taking the recidivism rate into account.
Stuck in the system, with no way to prove that they are no longer a threat, constantly waiting for a chance to be given to them to make a case for themselves and with nothing to be looking forward to, IPP inmates suffer from deep psychological issues, as 42% of IPP inmates have been described as “self-harming” compared to 6% of the overall male prison population and 24% of female inmates. The suicide rate is also much higher than the average and 16 IPP prisoners have committed suicide since the law was abolished in 2013.
Many criticize the fact that the system is still in place, arguing that current inmates should either be released or should serve tough but determined sentence, coupled with strict monitoring arrangements. This would be much more effective and cost efficient, since England and Wales currently spend over £119 million each year to keep them in prison.

Bianca Ferrari

Recent graduate in European Studies and aspiring reporter. Fluent in four European languages, with a big passion for travelling and discovering the world through direct experience.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


392 had served more than five times their tariff

 Prisons in Parliament

Indefinite sentencing and provision for religion under scrutiny this week

Religious provision in prison comes under scrutiny
Prisons in Parliament brings you up-to-date on the last week of politics and prisons. What’s been said? And by whom? Get it all here. 

Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences

How many of those still serving Imprisonment for Public Protection sentences have now been imprisoned for more than five times their tariff sentences? And will their imprisonment continue indefinitely?
Baroness Evans said:
“Of those prisoners serving sentences of imprisonment for public protection at the end of September 2015, 392 had served more than five times their tariff. IPPprisoners will continue to be detained until the independent Parole Board is satisfied that the risks they pose to the public are safely manageable in the community.”
Lord Brown called for the policy to be revised, describing IPP sentencing as a form of “preventative detention, internment—entirely alien to our traditional criminal justice approach.”

Religious provision in prison

Antoinette Sandback asked what assessment has been made of the availability of staff and resources in prisons to enable religious services to take place.
Andrew Selous said:
“Prisons are required to facilitate and enable religious services for all faiths. The availability of staff and resources to do this is kept under review locally.”

Response to Nick Hardwick’s Annual Report 

Douglas Carswell asked what measures the Government plans to take to address concerns raised by Nick Hardwick in his Annual Report for 2014-15
Areas of concern raised in the report included:
  1. Safety
  2. Respect
  3. Purposeful activity
  4. Resettlement
Andrew Selous responded:
Increasing levels of violence
“This Government has introduced two new offences through the Serious Crime Act 2015 for being in possession of a knife or other offensive weapon within a prison without authorisation, and throwing of items, including NPS over a prison wall without authorisation. This offence will help to control these substances in prison.
The importance of treating prisoners with respect 
“We are continuing to take forward the strengths he highlighted which included: good staff/prisoner relationships, increased use of prisoner peer mentors and good practice in health care”
The lack of purposeful activity
“The hours worked by prisoners in industrial occupations has already risen from 10.6 million hours in 2010/2011 to 14.2 million hours in the 2013-2014.”
Issues around resettlement
“Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) launched their ‘Through the Gate’ service on 1 May 2015. This service provides offenders with support to find accommodation and jobs, finance and debt advice, and support for sex workers and victims of domestic violence.”

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

BBC radio programme 5 live Investigates the ipp sentance looking for a sympathetic case which will help us explain the unfairness

 Email 11/11 2015, 19.00

Dear Katherine,

Good to speak to you, thank you very much for your help. I work on the BBC radio programme 5 live Investigates. We are developing a programme for Sunday 22nd November (around 11am) on the issue of indeterminate sentences for public protection.

Our piece will focus on the fact that 77% of the remaining IPP prisoners are now over their tariff, and quite a few were convicted of “summary offences”, “miscellaneous crimes” of thefts – with no violence involved. I am looking for a sympathetic case which will help us explain the unfairness of the system, and I am keen to speak to families of prisoners who are still serving IPP sentences for relatively minor offences.

I would be very grateful if you could ask the parents you know please- I’d just want to have a background talk in the first instance. If anyone has a few minutes, please ask them to call me on 0161 335 6455.

Kind regards,
Ruth Evans
BBC Radio Current Affairs
1st Floor, Quay House,  MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2QH
(+44) (0)161 335 6455

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain

Katherine Gleeson
 Court of Appeal quashes IPP sentence for low-level robbery offences         

In the case of R v Baird (and another) [2006] EWCA Crim 993, on 7th April 2006 the Court of Appeal Criminal Division quashed the sentence of imprisonment for public protection and imposed a determinate sentence. This decision re-affirms and emphasises the points made in Lang in relation to "dangerous offenders".
R v. David BAIRD (and another) [2006] EWCA Crim 993
On the 24th October 2005, at the Manchester Crown Court, the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for public protection, pursuant to section 225 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, by HHJ Hammond for two offences of robbery and seven offences of theft. The minimum period to be served was specified as three years for the robberies and 18 months for the thefts, to be served concurrently.
The facts of the offences were that over a three week period the defendant, usually accompanied by another, had on nine occasions entered small shops in the Manchester area. Under the guise of purchasing items or waiting to be served he had then either snatched the cash register or snatched money from the register. In two of the offences some force had been used hence the charges of robbery. No weapon had been used or threatened and the defendant was unmasked during all offences. The pleas were all well in advance of the trial date.
As the offences all post-dated the commencement of the "dangerous offender" provisions in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 it was necessary for an assessment of dangerousness to be carried out by the sentencing judge. HHJ Hammond indicated to counsel that he was assuming the defendant was dangerous pursuant to section 229(3) of the CJA, as his antecedents showed a previous specified offence. The defendant had only one previous specified offence - a conviction for ABH from June 2004. The learned judge asked for submissions why it was unreasonable to apply the assumption of dangerousness. The sentencing exercise predated the Court of Appeal decision of R v. Lang and Others (2005) EWCA Crim 2864 . Nevertheless, submissions where made that the current offences revealed no evidence of serious physical harm. The most violence that was used was during the two robberies where the staff were pushed or bumped into and one cashier's lip was caught by the defendant's arm. There was also no evidence of any psychological harm to any of the victims.
The learned judge found that there was no reason not to apply the assumption. He stated that it was obvious that the nature of the offences meant that psychological harm was likely to have been caused to the shop staff and for this reason there was no reason not to apply the assumption that there was a significant risk that the defendant would cause serious harm to the public in the future.
On the 7th April 2006 the Court of Appeal Criminal Division quashed the sentence of imprisonment for public protection and imposed a determinate sentence. Rather than simply doubling up the minimum term, it agreed with submissions that the minimum term was too long and imposed a determinate term of five years imprisonment.
In coming to this conclusion the Court of Appeal firstly reminded itself of paragraph 17(iii) of Lang that, "If the foreseen specified offence is serious, there will clearly be some cases, though not by any means all, in which there may be a significant risk of serious harm. For example, robbery is a serious offence. But it can be committed in a wide variety of ways many of which do not give rise to a significant risk of serious harm. Sentencers must therefore guard against assuming there is a significant risk of serious harm merely because the foreseen specified offence is serious".

The Court then went on to state as follows:
"In the case of the appellant Baird it is argued that these offences involved no weapons, that they principally relied on the element of surprise, and that minimal force only was resorted to when surprise was not effective on its own. There were no threats and there was no evidence of serious harm in the sense defined by section 224(3) of the 2003 Act. Nearly all his previous offending was acquisitive crime. The pre-sentence report did not suggest that the future foreseen harm was serious. This means, it is argued, that the judge fell into error, the error being to assume that the kind of distress suffered by the victims in this case was sufficient to qualify as serious harm if it occurred again in the future, and it fell foul of the assumption warned against in the passage we have quoted in Lang and Others.
It is also the case that the matters that the sentencer should take into account, as set out in paragraph 17(ii) of that decision, are not addressed by the judge because he did not have the evidence to do so. In paragraph 47 in Lang and Others that principle is set out in one of the appeals. The court said:
"Although the author of the pre-sentence report was right to say that there is always a risk of psychological harm in robbery, it is not necessarily either a significant risk or a risk of serious harm; as we have earlier indicated the degree of both risk and harm must be evidenced. Furthermore, rapid repetition of offences in itself does not, as the Recorder suggested, demonstrate a significant risk of serious harm....
We agree with the submission made that the guidance given by Lang, had it been available to the judge, would have resulted in this sentence not being passed. These are indeterminate sentences, tantamount in all but one respect to life sentences, and should only be passed on low-level offending such as this if all the requirements set out in Lang are met. They were not in this case."
This decision therefore re-affirms and emphasises the points made in Lang. In particular the explicit statement that IPP sentences are for all intents and purposes life-sentences and should not therefore be passed on low-level offending, even where the offences carry the name of "robbery", unless a number of requirements are met, is a timely and important reminder to sentencing judges.
Farrhat Arshad appeared for Baird instructed by Robert Lizar Solicitors

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Im a journalist Im looking to do an in depth article about the IPP sentance..

My name is Charlotte,. I met with a journalist friend of mine, Steve Boggan who wrote for The Independent years ago and now writes for The Times, Telegraph etc. He is looking to do an in depth article about the IPP  Sentence and those who are in prison over tariff, having been given short minimum terms to serve, based on the fact that their Index Offence would only have attracted a relatively... short determinate sentence, for an offence where no violence against the person took place! He will give me full editorial control over the piece and wants to find one or two families, and prisoners serving their sentence,who are happy to go public on this. I need to hear from men/women who are post tariff, completed all courses and with no custodial behavioural problems/adjudications or absconds. Please PM me if you are interested! For the record, I trust Steve to do a fair job, he protected my interests some years ago when I was involved in a negative press campaign against me!! if anyone is interested and has these circumstances please let me know ill pass your details to him x
 Steve Boggan Facebook

 Alternatively Contact Charlotte Gibson

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How much more do IPP prisoners have to take before they see the only way to bring attention to our plight is to riot, hunger-strike or, even worse, take their own lives because they see no hope.

How much more?

I feel compelled to write this letter as a serving IPP. I read your paper every month and all I read about are IPP prisoners complaining about courses, tariffs, conditions, etc. but nothing ever seems to get done about it. I was given a 4 year tariff in 2005, and to this day I still cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel.
The IPP sentence was abolished in 2012, but still many thousands of us, over tariff, still rot in these unfit jails, whilst the government focuses on covering up historic sex crimes by their peers, or how many migrants they can get away with not taking. They care less about the forgotten prisoners who have served their time and much, much more. How much more do IPP prisoners have to take before they see the only way to bring attention to our plight is to riot, hunger-strike or, even worse, take their own lives because they see no hope.
Surely there must be some way IPP prisoners can challenge this sentence? How much more will we have to take before the government start to listen and help us? It is not only us serving this sentence but our families as well. They say that our prisons are overcrowded, they need to save money and make spaces, well they could start by releasing those who have served the tariff decreed by the courts for their crimes. Somebody should be helping us.