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Friday, 20 May 2016

The long awaited policy on ROTL (release on temporary licence) is now out. Prison Service Instruc- tion 13/22015 was issued on 23rd March. Some of the regu- lations are the same as the interim rules but there are some important changes.

25th May IPP Lobby .March

What are we requesting?
1) We are hereby requesting the Secretary of State for Justice to exercise their power to change the release test for the IPP prisoners under Section 128 of the LASPO Act, for an effective system in place that works.
2) IPP sentences to be converted into extended sentences, as changing the release test will not necessarily get rid of the "99-year-licence" problem. The Lord Chief Justice agrees!!
The answer could be to having our loved ones released..
3 ) Is to push home the arguments. "Lex posterior derogat priori"..... Meaning a later repeals an earlier one in a similar method to the effect of an Appeal or Supreme Court automatic overules previous law on the subject.. maxim.......It needs to be aknowledged immediately .........

Restricted ROTL

The PSI is very clear that getting ROTL is not a given. It is not automatic and there is no right to ROTL.
 It will always depend on an individual’s circumstances. Also, there is no guarantee that ROTL will start at the eligibil- ity date. It could be later on in the sentence.

The Restricted ROTL process (for people considered to be more dangerous) has been extended to cover anyone under Mappa. This process involves more checks (before ROTL is agreed and also when the ROTL is in place) and a psychological assessment. The decision is also taken at a higher level, as it must be signed off by a governor or deputy governor.

Who counts for restricted ROTL?

• All lifers, all IPPs;
• All eligible for Mappa;
• Anyone assessed as high risk or very high risk on OASys;
• Anyone who will be on the sex offenders register;
• Anyone who has a sentence for violence under schedule 15 of 12 months or more.

Everyone else will be assessed under the standard process.

Another important change is that not all prisons are allowed to provide restricted ROTL. It is now only available in open, category C/D and women’s prisons. This will impact on some people who are not yet classed as suitable for open but have been taking ROTLs in their prison. If you are in an open and closed site, you must be in the open part of the prison to be eligible for restricted ROTL.

If you are in a women’s prison, you must have been classed as suitable for open conditions to get restricted ROTL.
However, if you are assessed as low or medium risk under Mappa and already suitable for Cat D transfer, this can be priori- tised. Also your categorisation can be reviewed if you may be suitable for Cat D. This does not mean that you will be moved to Cat D automatically, but if you are in this situation, ask the prison staff if they can review your categorisation.

Another important change is that for anyone under the Restricted ROTL process, the first three ROTLs (at least) must be accompanied (taken with an officer).
 Please note that this is a minimum so it might be that you are assessed as needing more accompanied ROTLs.
There will be an additional licence condition requiring that you remain with and follow the instructions of the supervising officer at all times. Escorted absences for lifers and IPPs were suspended under the May 2014 interim instructions.
They have now been stopped but as all indeterminate sentence prisoners are under the restricted ROTL process, if they are approved for ROTL, they will have supervised ROTL on at least three occasions.

For lifers and IPPs, there is also a new guideline for when ROTL can be taken. To work this out, you will need to know the time period between your approval for transfer to open and your next provisional parole hearing date. This is a guideline though, so individual circumstances and the sentence plan will also be taken into account.
If you would like a copy of the new PSI on ROTL or have any questions, you can contact us at the Prison Reform Trust, FREEPOST ND6125 London EC1B 1PN. Our free information line is open Mondays 3.30-7.30 and Tuesday and Thursday 3.30-5.30. The number is 0808 802 0060 and does not need to be put on your pin.

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