i received an invitation to meet with Nick Hardwick, the recently appointed chair of the Parole board.I have a this meeting on AUG 9th.
• See below for some examples of what you might want to comment on.
The Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, has ordered a Parole Board inquiry into the plight of existing IPP prisoners.
How can you help?
• Bullet point your observations & key issues ; you can leave out name and address if you feel necessary. Your comments will handed to Mr Hardwick at the meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org,
• The lobby/March was a success, since now the authorities are willing to discuss the issues around IPPs. We have a good opportunity collectively to make change.
And we we need your full support in this matter.
• The parole board needs to understand the issues you are having so they can discuss and make changes.
30 May 2016: Ken Clarke (former Justice Secretary) says it is 'absurd' that a defunct prison scheme still keeps people in jail.
23 June 2016: Prison Reform Trust report shows that there are 550 incidents of self-harm for every 1,000 IPP prisoners. This compares with 324 incidents for every 1,000 prisoners serving determinate or fixed terms, and is more than twice the rate of 200 per 1,000 prisoners for those serving life sentences.
Many IPP prisoners have been held for years beyond their original tariff dates because of parole board delays, limited resources, poor procedures for managing risk and a lack of available places on offending behaviour programmes. They have lost hope because they have no end date.
Once i receive your emails I will not be able to respond back personally, since this message has been posted to over 4000 of you.
Thank you for your support!
Problem with parole board: What do you feel would improve the parole board? Have you been delayed or had a hearings cancelled at the last minute, resulting in a further delay of months or years?
Is it too easy to be recalled therefore needs a softer approach ? license condition problems? probation or another agency partly to blame? Have you spent years waiting in prison just to be heard for something minor? No legal aid for categorization or other?
Have problem on leaving prison? prison reform trust reported more than four in fiveformer prisoners surveyed said their conviction made it harder to get insurance and four-fifths said that when they did get insurance, they were charged more.The inability to obtain insurance can prevent access to mortgages and many forms of employment or self-employment.15% ofnewly sentenced prisoners reported being homeless before custody9% were sleeping rough.
Probation do they have too much power do they create unnecessary problems by asking for the impossible on time keeping or forgetting appointments because you have dyspraxia, dyslexia, Asperger’s or another learning difference, what your observation or issues ?
Problems with Offender Supervisors & Offender Managers? perhaps its A does not know what B is doing? Unnecessary courses or adding on more courses ? Have you done more than you should but you did not understand why, and what was being asked of you? Were you asked to do another course just before your parole hearing but could of done this course months before and has resulted in a further 2 years’ delay in a parole hearing?
prison Reports: Do you feel the reports need to be clear and understandable documents? Do you feel their only as good as the person who writes them on the day. Are they incorrect or often not accurate reflection of you?
Delays in moving prisons: Have you applied to the prison governor for a move but this has been delayed? Extra delays in moving to an appropriate prison from a private prison, you feel your delay is an income to a prison?
Problems with trainee psychologists being ill experienced : For example does the psychologist’s views hold too much weight and influence your category outweighing courses covered done over a period & good reports from staff ?Do Trainees psychologists need to be band unless with experience psychologists?
Does the psychologist you see first make all the difference?
Do you stand a better chance of release if you see an independent psychologist first a chance of a good report, since the prison psychologist is often swayed by the independent psychologist’s report? But if you see a prison psychologist first and the report is not favorable then does the independent psychologist always follow the prison psychologist’s report?
Hidden disability: Were you not given appropriate help and support while speaking in the parole board hearing or in an interview with the psychologist, despite having mental health disabilities dyspraxia, dyslexia, ADHD, other...affecting your memory, recall, thought processing, response time and attention, which can make appear as though you are being evasive?
corruption? poor education ? email@example.com
‘Life in prison for breaking a sink!’
I am an IPP prisoner, having done 7 years out of a 2-year tariff. I was released for 14 months before being arrested for criminal damage to the bathroom sink of a friend. It was alcohol- fuelled anger. I was sentenced for this the very next day and received 12 months conditional discharge. The judge said that it wasn’t serious enough to send me back to prison.
I was re-arrested the next morning and informed that the Probation Service wanted me recalled back to prison. When I was 5 months into my recall I received an oral hearing. I was recommended release by both my Offender Manager and Offender Supervisor, but was shocked when the Parole Board refused both my release and open conditions, on the grounds that I did not learn anything from the offending behaviour courses I had completed. I am now expected to serve life in prison for breaking a sink. Surely this is disproportionate and plain wrong?
IPP should be absolute priorityI read with interest the interview with Michael Gove in the April issue of Inside Time, in particular with regard to IPP prisoners having a ‘clear path to exit’. I notice that he has spoken to the new Chair for the Parole Board asking that he make it a priority to process IPP prisoners. Let us hope that his efforts are better than those of his predecessor, who was also going to make things easier for IPPs.
“Is it not time our new progressive Justice Secretary got hold of this insidious piece of legislation and sorted it out once and for all?”
The Parole Board at present is not fit for purpose, but to be fair this is not the fault of its dedicated staff who over the last 12 months have been placed under unbelievable pressure due to cuts in their resources. IPP prisoners now not only find themselves long over tariff but set reviews are no longer taking place.
I have now served 10½ years on a tariff that expired in October 2007. My parole target was set for October last year, but despite positive reports and recommendations I am still waiting for a hearing, like many others. Is it not time our new progressive Justice Secretary got hold of this insidious piece of legislation and sorted it out once and for all? It is an affront to British values and justice costing millions of pounds for the taxpayer keeping people in prison who no longer need to be there. The sentences now bear absolutely no relevance to the crimes they committed.
Also, having spent so much time in prison we still have to serve 10 years on license if we are released.
So, Mr Gove, if you are truly committed to giving prisoners a new chance at life then the injustices of the IPP legislation should be your absolute priority.