Don’t give up hope
I am a ‘2-strike’ lifer who has now been in prison for thirteen-and-a-half years, eight years over tariff, and I have remained a category B prisoner the whole time.
The European Court of Human Rights said that the 2-strike Act was inhumane and arcane, and this resulted in the British government fundamentally changing this law and giving it a makeover and a new name – IPP. Unfortunately, prisoners under this law still did not have a release date and very little hope of getting out.
What about the over 3,000 prisoners that are still in prison and over tariff under the 2-strike Act? I urge 2-strikers to write to me as I have a good legal team and we are trying to put together a Class Action in the High Court to challenge our sentence. Finally, to all the lads stuck in DSPD units, and to my main man Johnny Wallace stuck in Long Lartin block, do not give up hope, your day will come!
The forgotten few
I am a 2-striker, who was sentenced as a young offender, and my tariff expired 11 years ago. Recently I decided to make a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Justice asking them how many other 2-strike lifers were sentenced to this draconian and inhumane sentence as young offenders. I was horrified to find out I was one of only 13 other young offenders. I bet there are not that many people out there who know that 13 young lads are languishing in prison into their 30s or 40s for crimes they committed as teenagers.
The Judge who sentenced me for GBH said he would have given me a fixed term sentence of 8 years but he had to give me a 2-strike life sentence with a 3 year, 4-month tariff. I have now served the equivalent of a 28-year prison sentence. Surely we should be fighting for the release of 2-strikers?James Hockey - HMP Wayland
Ipp sentenced prisoners "risk assesment" to satisfy the parole board... So called dangerous offenders or (rather were) to meet the governors statutory test before release can be directed by a parole board........The test is to satisfy the board that to is no longer nessesary for the protection of the public .. That they. Continue to be confined , by way of causing... harm through specified offending.....Risk of reoffending was and still is treated as being a separate risk factor to "the risk of causing harm". But they are one of the same thing, risk of reoffending that could cause harm through offending if an offence was committed again. this means is only worded differently.....Myself and many thousands of prisoners have suffered as a result there "RISK OF HARM". level being too high to be considered for release by a parole board. This has been going on since (1998 act). This is the equivalent to many years of unlawful detention, because risk of harm has been treated as a super ate risk factor to risk of reoffending All this time! Who has been applying-enforcing-interpreting. This wrongly !!! The courts. Parolebooard. Probation. Prison service. All official departments of Justice concerned with RISK to the public...that has impacted on prisoners being detained, and licence alike....(.This is the mother of all cock ups). And a nationwide scandal, compensation could cost millions. In compensation and investigations for a long period of time to come.........
So my brother has got his parole today in which his inside parole officer and his solicitor are backing him for release he has been in there 10 years and still not heard anything it's so frustrating.
Owen An MP not listening to a member of his constituents. I think I would have to write to his/her boss in that case. If he or she is a conservative MP then write to Margret Thatcher, oh sorry 😃Theresa May, I keep getting the two confused.If they are not conservative then write to the party leader explaining that your letters are going unanswered. You will get a reply then, I'd put money on it. . Don't let them get away with ignoring you, the pen is mightier than the sword
Owen A brave man told me once that living with an ipp is like being buried alive and waiting for your body to stop breathing. Sadly his died. He was over tarrif and to ill to do the courses. Persecution is what you and your brother are suffering from. Keep writing letters, everytime you do you make them pay for keeping him in there. Pick them up on every point they make in their replies. Make it clear that your right to a family life is being engaged because there is no end date. It's agony behind a locked door every night but its also painful for all those family members waiting for them to come out too. The justice secretary needs to be reminded everyday or she will simply look the other way .Find your local MPs details, on Google. Use google to find out which Diocese you come under for the church of England. Remember the Church of England has weight, it has an influence on government policy. With regard to the NPS. You need to know which region you come under. Take your time drafting your letters. Keep them to the point. Everyone knows where the queen lives Buckingham Palace,Sw1 1AA.Find your local MPs details, on Google. Use google to find out which Diocese you come under for the church of England. Remember the Church of England ⛪ has weight, it has an influence on government policy. With regard to the NPS. You need to know which region you come under. Take your time drafting your letters. Keep them to the point. Everyone knows where the queen lives Buckingham Palace,Sw1 1AA.
I am an ipp known as a 5826aj , I have seen several people attempt to kill themselves from the psychological distress of i.p.p, i have known people who succeed in killing themselves because of this sentence. I have worked with many prisoners at Hmp Wellingborough as a Listener counselling prisoners for Samaritans, and can attest to the extreme psychological distress that i.p.p’s are feeling on behalf of myself and others i have listened to. Incidents of self harm are common, attempting suicide is an incident of self harm, if unsuccessful, that is why the high rate of self harm is cause for concern.
The sentence acts as a two-tier system where i.p.p are different and treated harsher with more pressure as their liberty is much more at stake compared to other prisoners around them. Our liberty is dependent on someone's opinion of what will happen in the future, clearly it causes psychological distress to i.p.p’s, many of whom did not know this sentence existed before they were sentenced, yet it was intended as a deterrent.
One of My biggest concern is the labelling of psychopaths for very young i.p.p’s .
This sentence is arbitrary, it is indeterminate and a two-tier system, this creates isolation together with helplessness.The number of young minor offenders wrongly given an indeterminate sentence is high.
Most of the people who are not able to be here to deliver a impact statement would give a better one than me. . There is a high rate of recall, this is for even more minor offences like being late for probation more than 2 or three times, missing an appointment, not informing probation of work venue, an impossibility if work requires travel to different locations.
As well as the majority who are locked up, there are a lot who are too angry, stressed and traumatised to express how they feel. The impact statement that was asked for was extremely divisive, it required attendance in central london, most can't get there. I was willing to deliver a speech however I have been told that I must stick to the remit this is all regarding what I have gone through, it focuses only on me and what i’ve gone through. I am not free to make negative comments regarding the ineffectiveness of my own treatment as an ipp, as that is a potential recall.
Isolation and helplessness are two important factors for psychological torture. People who are blindfolded in torture are more likely to break (the blindfold creates helplessness), and the arbitrary nature of this sentence acts as a psychological blindfolded (not knowing how late your parole board will be creates helplessness along with the uncertainty of sentence length). I waited about 3 years between my second and third parole board, (maximum knockbacks two years) before my first I was told I had completed all relevant programmes by a senior psychologist, I have never had a nicking or failed a drug test either mdt or vdt i did almost 100 in gartree alone. But I completed 7 years and 3 parole before release, I did complete a lot more courses and complete a degree along the way physics and mathematics open university. The open university did a lot more to rehabilitate me, than everyone else combined.
I worked for £12 a week for an outside business that subcontracts work to hmp wellingborough, this was after my tariff and courses so was therefore an arbitrary length of slavery. Whilst there I studied during lunch, and back in my cell all my waking hours, most of association time, and late into the night as at times I could spend 2 days reading a page even things that were not complicated. I am dyslexic and have adhd but that is unusually long period of time.
Psychological torture works on another level in this same sentence. The stress position used in torture, is created by the sentence through the lack of places on courses. The courses are realistically needed for release, statistics prove this, and parole boards have repeatedly refused prisoners for completion of courses.
Ordinarily there would be a distance between the courses and parole to monitor the impact over a period of, the monitoring was no different it is just an increased incarceration, during that vulnerable period. It is more vulnerable because psychologist's are told to use the words monitoring or give some extra targets to complete after. These are so designed so that you feel you are being monitored more closely or have to use the course. So that you become more vulnerable in prison. It is clear to all I.p.p’s that you can no longer be angry or stressed after a course addressing that very thing.
Perhaps a impact statement should be taken from him or his family have they been asked, Explain what happens when they believe they will not experience empathy, throughout their 20’s when their frontal lobe is still developing? Well they are creating more people who wrongly believe they are psychopaths for perhaps a lifetime, if it finishes developing and they still believe this is I give them little to no way out.
I'm not allowed to have any contact with any I.p.p’s now because this is actually against my life licence to contact criminals in my past (I have no co-defendants, this is my first offence I pleaded guilty yet this condition is there) so there is a psychological pressure for me not to continue to discuss I.p.p or prisoners rights, due to this condition.
Another issue is that long term prisoners and lifers have a much lower reconviction rate compared to those with smaller sentences, according to inside times the reconviction rate for lifers tends to stay around 1-2%. What parole and probation are doing is fabricating evidence in order to abuse human rights violent reoffending is 15 times higher in prison than outside. That proves no ipp is easier to manage inside than out. All ipp’s and our families know this. They can be better managed in the community also a less violent and dehumanising environment, why are so many still behind bars?
In prison there were more than 20,000 assaults with six homicides in the 12 months to April 2016. According to the telegraph. The homicide rate is much higher also in prison indicating more seriousness to violence inside. 85,400 population of prisoners in England and Wales 2016
0.2341920375 is therefore the violent offending per prison population in England and Wales 2016. The rate of reported assaults is thus 15.3183901872 greater in prison compared to England and Wales in 2016 April.
Of most stressful situations imprisonment, and moving house and family relationships are the main stressful life events, I.p.p’s are moved around prisons a lot for courses. Shaun Beasley killed himself when they moved him to a prison to do a course however the course was not available, all the stress factors in the design have been know to the ruling class for many decades. His blood and many others like him are on the hands of those.
Parole boards are deliberately undertrained and unprepared one parole board member asked my probation officer if there was anything going on between us, this was due to my probation officer recommending release, is this acceptable this level of preparedness especially given the superhuman task of predicting the future? She clearly worked out her line of questioning based on a TV drama about an affair between a probation officer and an ex-offender that was on at the time.
They are saying we will release 1500 ipps next year this is proof that the quota system exists as it is a quota. A quota does exist so parole boards are not independent, which is what we've been saying all along so why has this quota not been used before this.
Also more people are likely to be released in the first few months of the year, and even really good cases where they should be released are refused at the end of the year, making delays very stressful, I wanted my parole near the start of the year so i stood a better chance of release, if my delay looked as though it would drag until late in the year i would be very stressed, indeed when it was moved from december to april i was happy.
There has always been a quota and it has not been used, older lifers have been saying it, it is noticeable just following severity of offending and parole outcome.
Regarding violent offenses you are much more likely to commit one or get caught up in one inside. Most offenders serve short sentences which are ineffective, this is a large part of the data for Oasys. Oasys should be abandoned it is loaded, it does not change with length or courses, this would save alot of probation officers time and the government money.
I'm still isolated outside. People don't even believe this sentence could exist here, a lot of people looked down on me thinking I must have done a lot to serve 7 years out of a 2. People think i'm a terrorist as I cannot travel out of Leicestershire and I am not allowed on planes, it is much harder to get a job, social isolation.
This license is arbitrary and the conditions are unnecessary harsh. That is psychological torture still, having an arbitrary sentence or arbitrary licence is psychological torture on top of the social cost I will always pay for having a criminal record that won't be spent. It is always legal to refuse me from a job because of my sentence ,as it is always unspent, I am never protected under the law in terms of employment for the rest of my life. I cannot get a job that involves travel, I cannot write a letter or email to mps for lobby groups without prior permission.
It is classed as paid or unpaid work (charity or lobby) which I cannot do without prior permission.
I am restricted from contact with ipp's i cannot write letters to MP’s or Lords as this is a breach of license, I must ask for permission.
Lifer or IPP
It’s like a never ending story, or maybe a never ending dream
If you’re doing mandatory life, or IPP, you wanna scream
They set us all a tariff, it very rarely comes on time
You’d done three times your tariff, that warranted that crime
You say you’re going to sort it out, we’re still sat here waiting
Each more year goes by, we only end up hating
So why say you’re going to do it, if it’s just a pack of lies?
Slowly but surely, we lose the outside ties
Soon we’ll be left with no-one, is that all you’ve ever wanted?
Sitting lonely in your prison cell, feeling unjustly tortured and taunted
This will probably fall on deaf ears, or eyes that don’t look
I’m running out of ink, by writing all this mush
I write this for lifers, but does anybody care?
I write down these words, your sentences are unfair
It’s now time to let us out, you can do it bit by bit
Or most of us out, or all in one hit
Whichever way you do it, things have got to change
The longer we stay in, the more the outside gets strange
It’s now time to go, so will you please have a thought
Before you make up these sentences, think before they come to court
BBC October 2016.
Prisoner resettlement scheme raises concerns
A flagship government policy to support and supervise inmates leaving jail has been severely criticised by inspectors.The chief inspectors of probation and prisons for England and Wales said the "Through the Gate" scheme for offenders serving prison terms of less than 12 months was failing to find them jobs.
In some cases the public was being put at risk, their joint report said.
Ministers said a review of the reforms set up by Chris Grayling when he was justice secretary was taking place.
The 2014 overhaul aimed to help provide short-sentence prisoners with a mentor, a place to stay and training or a job.
All prisoners sentenced to terms of a year or less are now subject to 12 months of supervision on release.
High-risk offenders come under the supervision of the National Probation Service, with the remaining work assigned to 21 newly-created Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs).
But of 86 offenders whose cases were examined in detail by inspectors, the report said only a minority had found accommodation through the scheme, just one had been assigned a mentor, and none had secured employment.
"Public protection work around short sentence prisoners is weak, and this is a systemic problem," they said.
'Vital reforms'While the picture was more positive for women leaving prison, the report said many probation officers held "an almost fatalistic acceptance of the likelihood of failure".
The inspectors recommended ministers should review the contractual requirements to "better incentivise CRCs to develop their approach to the successful resettlement of prisoners".
HM Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey said: "There is still the potential for change that government and others wish to see.
"But turning prisoners' lives around is difficult, and success in individual cases is not guaranteed, even when everything possible is done, particular for those with mental illness or addictions."
Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said: "We are already carrying out a comprehensive review of our probation reforms to improve outcomes for offenders and communities."
He added: "Public protection is our top priority and we will not hesitate to take the necessary action to make sure our vital reforms are being delivered to reduce re-offending.