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Friday, 24 March 2017

little evidence to support that contention to solve the current crisis behind bars . Prisoners matter too!

The Howard League for Penal Reform has today (Wednesday 22 March) responded to the government’s plans to build four new prisons.
Andrew Neilson, Director of Campaigns at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The government is pinning a great deal of hope that its capital investment in new prisons will help to solve the current crisis behind bars, with very little evidence to support that contention. Prisons across the country are afflicted with problems of deaths, violence and drugs – modern and old alike.
“The real driver behind these new prisons will be cost. Today’s announcement confirms that the Ministry of Justice is still committed to building larger prisons which can make economies of scale, even though smaller institutions can be safer and more stable.
“Ultimately we will only transform the prison system if we do something about a prison population which has doubled in the last twenty years. Until politicians grasp the nettle that we simply jail too many people and for too long, then governments will continue to preside over prisons that shame the nation.”
The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
Rob Preece Campaigns and Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7241 7880
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 604955
ISDN line available on 020 7923 4196 – uses a G722 system
For enquiries outside normal office hours, please call +44 (0)7918 681094
Rob Preece
Campaigns and Communications Manager
Tel: +44 (0)20 7241 7880
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 604955
ISDN line available on 020 7923 4196 – uses a G722 system


Mccormack March
My Partner got recalled three wks ago for staying at mine over knight and for going to Blackpool over knight were we were spreading his mum and dads ashes i think this is very wrong he did 10yrs when they said he should do two this was when the IPP sentence  first come into force and the judge did not under stand what it was all about this is now ruining our lifes and i looks like they can keep him as long as they like so we might have to get married in prison i think this is so very unfair as he did this time over and over i will stand by him for as long as it takes what do you think?##
Ahhh my friend trust me i have followed this to a tee I am blessed with a new probation area anyway however..... My personal belief is that when it has come to i.p.p....probation has been the biggest abuse of position related!
You have to think outside the box. Never question your probation officer's authority. You must write to the deputy director of probation in your area. Put forward your argument and back it up, refering to factual inaccuracies and where necessary refer to this psi. Never expect the first response to be what you want, where they deviate from your subject refer them back to your points. Avoid discussing your challenge with your PO. Where her/his action affects others like your family advice yourfamily on your action. They may also wish to write to the deputy director. As a 'service user' of probation think of it like you have been mistreated by a member of staff in a shop. You wouldn't complain to the assistant who mistreated you would you? Go to the boss. If you write to the director he/she just denigrates the job to the deputy by the way. Hence why I said write to them. Always date your letters and put a suitable title. If you don't receive a reply within 1monrh chase with another letter refering to your first. I would never advice someone to make a challenge unless it is serious. But sometimes you must.
Adams My son was  released last March..he's in the hostel for 6wks..
Davis coming home in April   I'm  so happy.;postID=7107754043105470498;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=0;src=link





Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sack liz Truss or do something “urgent! For these IPP prisoners, the uncertainty of not knowing when they will be released is unbearable and has an established adverse impact on their mental health; their continued imprisonment also has an effect on other prisoners, quite apart from the damage it does to the reputation of British justice.

Our prisons are in crisis - violence, self-harm and deaths in custody are an at all-time high, prison capacity is stretched way beyond its limits and far too few prison officers struggle - under utterly unacceptable pressure - to deliver more with less.

Against this backdrop the Government has published its long-awaited Prisons and Courts Bill. They now accept that prisons must be more than human warehouses; they must be places of education, rehabilitation and reform.

The Conservatives are finally adopting the Liberal Democrat approach: better late than never! But their stated ambitions will be worthless if the Government fail to get a grip on prisoner numbers.
The last three decades have seen numbers in England and Wales rising more sharply than ever, almost doubling to today’s level of about 85,000.

 The latest figures again show that we have the highest rate of imprisonment in Western Europe. This is crippling the system. Prisons are massively overcrowded, while chronic staff shortages prison mean staff cannot even ensure safety, let alone take on the extra work required to rehabilitate prisoners in their care. This is a political failure that needs a political solution.

We need to take a hard look at sentencing policy, unafraid of the popular press. The increased use of minimum sentences has tied judges’ hands, meaning they can’t use their wisdom and discretion to adopt alternatives to prison where appropriate.

That is why the Liberal Democrats at our Conference are calling for a drastic overhaul in sentencing policy, which now lacks both rationality and flexibility,

 as judges feel constrained to pass prison sentences which deny offenders their best chance of rehabilitation.

This Government had the opportunity to overhaul sentencing policy in this Bill and their failure to do so risks continuing a policy of chaotic and damaging over-sentencing and an ever-increasing prison population.
Then we have the national scandal of IPP prisoners, serving indefinite sentences, who are still in prison despite having served their tariff sentences. In Coalition we ended these sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection, recognising that they were unacceptable in principle, yet at the end of last year, almost 4,000 IPP prisoners were still awaiting release, the majority having served their minimum tariff.

 For these prisoners, the uncertainty of not knowing when they will be released is unbearable and has an established adverse impact on their mental health; their continued imprisonment also has an effect on other prisoners, quite apart from the damage it does to the reputation of British justice.

Unless the Government gets prisoner numbers down and devotes the resources necessary to getting staffing levels up, building a renewed prison estate and providing effective education, training and other purposeful activity in every prison, all they will be doing is trying to use small sticking plasters to staunch gaping wounds.!!!!!!

 Liberal Democrat Conference will once again stand up for doing what works to achieve real change - I hope the Conservatives will be listening.
Lord Marks QC is a Lib Dem peer and the party’s shadow justice secretary



I share your view of Ms Truss. She is primarily the minister for the treasury, which I might add she receives a whooping salary for. She is unpaid for her job as the justice secretary. I somehow believe that Ms May wanted it this way. A sleeping justice secretary means that nothing is put forward without her approval and as Ms May has shown nothing but contempt for prisoners rights in her role as home secretary she wants to avoid any positive reform.
Lord Faulkes makes a very good point in the below article in the Times. He quit his job over Ms Truss's appointment as the justice secretary. He said he felt she had no experience, or Law qualifications and therefore wouldn't have the clout to stand up to the prime minister on the facts of law and couldn't defend the judges. I think that's exactly what Ms May wanted Theresa May's new administration

A message to the new Justice Secretary Liz Truss. We want them to... have self worth, so we destroy their self worth To be responsible, so we take away all responsibility To be part of our community, so we isolate them from the community To be positive and constructive, so we degrade them and make them useless To be non violent, so we put them where there is violence all around To be kind and loving people, so we subject them to hatred and cruelty To quit being tough guys, so we put them where the tough guy is respected To quit hanging around losers, so we put all the losers under one roof To quit exploiting us, so we put them where they exploit each other We want them to take control of their own lives own their own problems and quit being parasites, so we make them totally dependent on us By Judge Dennis Challeen -


I can tell you all we are seeing is  deferrals after deferrals and simply be being ghosted, shifted from one prison to another, without warning, on a senseless go-round seemingly designed to disorientate and pacify.
We now have the highest prison population in Europe by a considerable measure, and following the recent riots there is "no "likelihood of it decreasing with Liz Truss . 
Unless an individual represents a credible physical threat I'd far rather he was set to work the in the "community rehabilitation" and must consist precisely in assisting. But appears they don't really want prisoners rehabilitated, they want them punished. They want them locked down, maltreated and if it were possible beaten on a regular basis.  Too often a prison sentence does not cure the causes of crime,  but  aggravates them. Instead releasing and  helping prisoners to connect with jobs and become included in society , it can take away the employment, housing and family links, and leave prisoners virtually destitute, on the road back to prison." One ex-prisoner told me  "It’s true what they say: your sentence begins the day you get out." Is it not  irrational for a destitute prison-leaver to choose to return to crime if it is his only survival strategy.


I had this really helpful letter back from Katherine Gleeson, hope it helps and perhaps you could pass it to your constituent?
Kind regards

Monday, 20 March 2017

Not so transparent liz Truss !!!

Following the new rules be published in November 2016 there have been changes to options for IPP cases at the paper stage. Further  (The position in relation to life sentence cases is unchanged)
Changes to the Parole Board Rules in November 2016
allowed the release of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners on the papers.

The  Parole Board’s Management Committee has now agreed two  changes


We are not happy with the way the Liz Truss running the justice system.

 Since being on the job, she has not done anything substantial to prove to the people she is a justice leader who will not accept anything less than sterling performance.

At the  this stage she is “Someone who sometimes   get  use of a car but without that she  wouldn’t have a clue ...she  keeps changing her mind does not answer your questions and does not reply to the families or there  MPs.

Hardly been seen or heard from. She is what we describe as the invisible justice Minister. She cannot run the illustration from behind closed doors or while having lunch with other Minister  rather than being effective. We don’t have confidence that those given an IPP sentence will get justice. How can she solve issues well she has been given lots of alternative,s options however feel she is not qualified or experience to deal with situation.
 I do not appreciate, rude and sometimes downright cruel manner in which she treats her citizens. She  lacks in robust communication which is important  for those who want to  learn and understand , may translate into something positive for JUSTICE in terms of re-gaining the confidence and trust that is lacking from the public. But such intervention cannot take place successfully while the Minister is in denial. 

The prison system have been failing for decades consequently IPP sentence was bound to be open to abuse. Though IPP prisoners finished their courses some twice over there risk had not been lowered  Therefore there was no light at the end of the tunnel  and coupled with the fact the psychologist had no criteria to follow.
Howard League’s legal team successfully applied to the High review, arguing that that a inmate removal from association, and the lack of suitable educational provision, was cruel, inhuman and degrading. Figures demonstrate the courses do not work or lower risk how can you measure a risk.
“For instance if I cross the road can one prove I will get run over?”
If rehabilitation courses where available for all they were not suitable for all those with neurological disorders /learning disability or mental health. Continued (1)
What is proven is 23 hours in a cell with no appropriate education / adequate accommodations or courses, excises and sun does cause mental health problems. I would not put a dog in a cage for 23 hours with no end date and expect it to be sane.A sentence which is open to abuse from other such as parole who makes a profit on the longer they keep an IPP Prisoner . Recalling those for non-offences and those groups with hidden disability/ leaning differences people who cannot cope with daily tasks remembering appointments being a snap shot.
It has been long proven that those with learning differences serve more time than anyone else in fact double the time than those without disability. often unable to assert themselves through lack inadequate accommodations to support them with task such as their paper work solicitor and put them at a disadvantage therefore unlikely to do well when up for parole.
On-going and never ending is Multi agency’s which you always have to I question their effectiveness or their partnership with working with others individual agencies. Information is not clearly been passed appropriately or shared appropriately and this leads to delays, delays in action. Poor cross referencing information and failing to indemnify a prisoner at risk though concerns were raised. Missing paper work poor or redirecting referrals due to poor paper work being a snap shot, the these type of sentence will be open to abuse because there is always going to be new errors with different agency . Re-offending is largely caused by a lack of post release support.
We have Human rights in place to make life fair and equal how is it equal for those ipp prisoners over five years with relatively minor crimes than those of others to be given an no end date and those with learning differences do double the time with or without an IPP sentence.
16 IPP Prisoners died as a result of this never ending sentence NO one listened or heard there cry’s .MPs and Minatory of justice now should end the chat and correct the wrong and end the 99 year tariff, for all.
Though one may have a tariff of 5 years …for a serious crime does not justify a life sentence, a longer sentence perhaps but not more than a murders for minor offense in comparison ?
Every one that comes out of prison is a risk a risk of re offending not just one group. Ipp prisoners are no more a risk than any other prisoner coming out of prisoners each day.

All prisoners are a risk of re offending for what they might do! But IPP prisoners have served their time parole should be constructive rather than punitive; guiding, not catching.
(1) Discretionary release “but” if they feel the offender is still not willing to abide by the by the conditions or unwilling or unable or unready to change there must be an alternative system in place for offenders to return to the community’s with support and supervision for the best interest of the victim and community that they have guidance upon release., Perhaps a specific stipulation on order to prevent their relapse and re offending.
Its NOT right to keep those with disabilities' incarcerated"  because of what they might do or because  behavior they cant help  as a direct result of a disability -ADHD- Asperger’s and Dyspraxia .........
Often parole assessment goes beyond conduct
It’s an action plan which often includes the family housing, job opportunities, and a support network. So it makes me wonder why numbers of families were refused attending the parole hearings to enable them to demonstrate their support. How wonder often the independent monitoring board attended hearings.
Parole boards lack of sufficient independence and they lack resources that constituted, in effectively managing its case load and in report delaying with inmates details. The lack of details the problems caused by lack of compliance with timetabling and the need for jurisdiction with the power to supervise cases and manage their progression effectively has been long standing. Huge caseloads and the temptation to save money compromising procedural standards for example, the intensive case management process ICM limits the right to oral hearings and leads to some decisions being taken by single members of the parole board on paper I stress the that procedural fairness is not only an obligation at common law under the European convention on human rights ( echr) it did not promote good decision making by ensuring that evidence used to release or refuse a release was properly tested .
The cost of holding hearings alongside saving money by recouping the costs they failed in preventing reoffending unnecessary long incarcerations. Further evidence through proposals on recall and delays in release and re-release. The use of OASys on low offenders. The focus on risk upon risk relate to the importance of proportionality in sentencing?
(1) Does it mean that sentencing and offending management now discriminate against certain socio economic and demographic groups? Who are ill-served by risk assessment methods or considered particularly dangerous through factors beyond their control? Can risk be accurately assessed and if so, how should this be done? Both the government and the criminal justice system as a whole should respond to the questions?
A system unduly managing risk in a wide variety of cases became financially underfunded and both procedurally and substantively unfair. The government risk focused rather than deserts approach to sentencing the government failed to anticipate the number of these sentences that would be imposed, despite broad statutory criteria and the cries of the family’s, they failed to provide sufficient courses programmes to enable such offenders to demonstrate their rehabilitation and achieve release
5 ECHR( right to liberty and security. The lawful detention of a person after conviction .Everyone who is deprived of liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by the court and his release ordered if the detention is not lawful 6 echr right to a fair trial. Resulting in litigation and reform.
We know the government wanted to address risk from violent and sexual offences which is both understandable and laudable However , in my view, it is wrong is principle for indeterminate sentences which in effect is a life sentence was not justify a life sentence and where the maximum term served could be out of all proportion to the index of the offence placing undue pressure on the parole authority effectively to determine the length of sentence in a large number of cases.
In relation to determinate sentences, the role of conditional release has now ended for newly sentenced prisoners as a result of the criminal justice and immigration act. All such prisoners will be release automatically however a structure of custodial sentences remains flawed.
The IPP sentences, with dangerousness assessed by the sentencing court, should be abolished. Where a sexual or violent offender is sentenced for an offense that is serious but not deserving of a life sentence .A more appropriate sentence would be a determinate sentence with conditional release manged or an extended license period S we invite the government and others to give further consideration to the options.
In all events, the parole board should focus upon worse cases and hope doing so, its caseload will eventually be reduced. Simple sentences for other offenders, with automatic release, will obviate the need for a tribunal to determine release date and its associated costs in these cases where is the case management, to reduce deferrals.
MPs must work with us because they continue to fail their constituents and a result families and prisoners go unheard as do there cry's.
Those who have finished their sentence  are still incarcerated because the system failed them resulting in numbers serving more than  double their sentence even though they had done the courses. They and have suffered enough, end the continued suffering.
 End the 99 Tariff

                                          Post date  2012




Friday, 10 March 2017

The book IPP prisoner in limbo by Michael O'Brien.

Many prisoners on IPP sentences have had relatively low tariffs some as low as two years however, very few prisoners have actually been released on their actual tariff date and quite a high number of them have done double the recommended tariff sentence set by the judge. Many families I have spoken to have called IPP sentences a life sentence through the back door and in this book, we will be talking to the families of those who have bee...n affected by these IPP sentences and what it actually means to them and how it affected them. This book will highlight cases to show how the IPP sentences work, and how unjust this sentence is. One interesting point to note is the fact that many offenders sentenced to IPP have done longer sentences than many sex offenders and paedophiles which the Act was originally designed for. Is this an injustice? This book is dedicated to the memory of the 16 Prisoners who sadly took their own lives whilst serving a IPP sentence god bless them all.





-----Original Message----- From: Edkins To: Katherinegleeson Sent: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 18:02 Subject: Re: IPP
Hi Katherine , I've emailed 6 today ! The story is so long and there's so much research I'll be pitching in a month or two. This is a really large scale investigation but know the features editor at the guardian who will hopefully take it on. It's looking good  Aepa Atm
Best wishes, Georgia Sent from my iPhone

-----From: From: Buzz Feed To: Katherinegleeson Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2017 16:47
Hi Katherine, Hope all is well. I wondered if I might ask for your assistance with another project relating to IPP - I'd quite like to speak to 2/3 IPP prisoners who have recently been released. I realise the licence terms are quite stringent and we could do it in a way that wouldn't get them in trouble with probation. I was happy with the reception of my last piece, interviewing the wives / girlfriends of offenders, but I think now would be a good time to speak to the offenders themselves and keep the ball rolling on this story. Any help would be appreciated please, if you can think of anyone who fits the bill. Regards.



Thursday, 9 March 2017

IPP. To no one’s great surprise, Liz Truss has opted to steer clear of sentencing reform and rejected calls to reduce prison numbers in the UK

Our prison system may be in its most parlous state for decades, but the justice secretary has demonstrated that she is no more likely than any of her predecessors to stray from the “tough on crime” mantra that got us here in the first place.

opted to steer clear of sentencing reform and rejected calls

The parole board chair and former chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, had presented her with a golden opportunity to safely release some 500 prisoners through executive clemency. These prisoners are currently serving imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentences and have already been imprisoned for more than the usual maximum sentences for their offences.
 Eschewing political courage, she switched her attention to the need to do more to divert those with mental health and substance misuse problems and urged better use of treatment orders and community sentences: nothing new there.
The difficult bit is what to do in prisons, and Monday night’s BBC Panorama investigation brought into stark relief what we already knew: prisons are in crisis, staff are losing control and drugs are easier to obtain in prison than on the outside. The only thing the programme shied away from was the inconvenient truth that is corruption, the most likely route in for large quantities of “spice”, tin snips and balaclavas.
We are promised 2,500 raw recruits, more drug testing, dog sniffing, mobile phone jamming and no-fly zones for drones. And all rounded off with league tables. I ran HMP Brixton when it was bottom of the “new” league tables in 2003, and can say that meaningless comparisons using dubious data are a demoralising distraction. As for the staff, they adopted the nearby Millwall football motto of “No one likes us, we don’t care”. In reality they cared a lot, but they certainly felt unloved by a system keen to stigmatise them.
Good prisons come from confident, well-trained, well-motivated and well-led staff who know their prisoners and are able to build positive relationships with them. It is because experience has been squandered with catastrophic staffing cuts, and because governors have been emasculated by a crushing bureaucracy, that we have the levels of violence and disorder detailed in Monday night’s Panorama.
As Truss has said, it’s a long way back, but the starting point is the prison governor. There are some superb, able governors out there; unsung heroes praying silently (because speaking out is forbidden) just to be left alone to govern. The soon-to-be-replaced National Offender Management Service (Noms) was incapable of letting go. It created endless rules overseen by civil servants who remained unaccountable. The current chief inspector of prisons, Peter Clarke, relayed to the justice select committee examples of deputy directors of custody (the bosses of governors) agreeing with his lamentable analysis of jails for which they were accountable but whose shortcomings they were blind to. Ironically some governors have migrated to the private sector, not for the large pay rise but for the shorter lines of accountability and clarity of delivery that comes with a contracted-out service. Governors should be encouraged to look downwards to the staff they employ and the prisoners they are tasked to care for. They should also look outwards to the communities they serve. Looking upwards to self-serving bureaucracies has bred the current crisis.
While there are governors out there capable of dealing with the autonomy promised in the latest white paper, others will struggle. There is a great need therefore to spread the net to recruit others from the world of health, education, substance misuse and business. Current attempts to recruit externally for Belmarsh and Manchester prisons, where no serving governors will apply, are risible when the basic salary is a mere £65,000. If our new Prison and Probation Service is to bring much-needed cultural change, it will have to pay governors at least as much as inner-city headteachers. Noms was closed and lacking in transparency: its replacement must be open, transparent and innovative and above all see governors as part of the solution, not the problem.
Governors are the seeds of prison reform. We must stop burying them too deeply.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

354 deaths in prison, up 38% 119 self-inflicted deaths up 32% 37,784 incidents of self harm, up 23%

The new service to replace the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will be Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
  • New service will be responsible for rolling out government’s reform programme
  • New leadership programme and new promotion opportunities for staff
  • New role of Director with specific responsibility for women across the whole system
The effective abolition of NOMS, (christened Nightmare on Marsham Street in its early days due to the confusion it created) – follows the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper published last November. From 1st April 2017 Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) will have full responsibility for the operational management of people in custody and the community, including strengthening security in prisons, tackling extremism and building intelligence about criminal gangs. The paper outlined an overhaul of the prisons estate with the forthcoming Prison and Courts Bill due to make rehabilitation for people in prison a key duty of prisons for the first time ever. There will be new leadership and promotion programmes for prison and probation officers to “further professionalise and build pride” in the service and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) will be taking on responsibility for overall future policy direction, setting standards, scrutinising prison performance and commissioning services. 
 “Creating HMPPS will bring clarity to managing our prisons and probation services while further professionalising staff and building pride in their work,” said Justice Secretary Liz Truss. “Our prison and probation officers do a vital job and they deserve to work in a world-class organisation which supports them in reforming offenders and keeping the public safe,” she added. CEO of the new service Michael Spurr was cautiously optimistic about his new role. “There is a great deal to do,” he said, “but I am confident that with the additional resources the government are providing, we can transform the system and deliver the high quality of service the public deserve.”

A secret Facebook Group

where prison staff boast about attacking being probed by police ......

354 deaths in prison, up 38%
119 self-inflicted deaths up 32%
37,784 incidents of self harm, up 23%
18,510 recorded prisoner on prisoner assaults, up 28%
6,430 assaults on staff, up 40%

There was more than a little scepticism amongst insiders when just one year ago Peter Clarke was appointed HM Chief Inspector of Prisons.  
In his first media interview since taking up the post he was asked  how he would summarise his experience of the past year, and how did he feel about the record numbers of self-inflicted deaths and incidents of self-ham in our prisons. “It’s been a very interesting and very busy year,” he says with obvious understatement. “I couldn’t have come into this job at a more crucial time, when prison reform is at the very front of the public and political agenda in a way that it hasn’t been for many decades.”
 This last year has confirmed that. The latest figures from the Ministry of Justice on self-inflicted deaths in custody are deeply troubling, as is the continuing increase in the level of self-harm, 
When the inspectorate makes recommendations intended to improve safety in jails, they should be taken seriously. All too often, they are not. I’ve found it extraordinary that some of the most difficult and challenging prisons we’ve been to are those where our recommendation have simply not been implemented or apparently not been taken seriously.
 Some of them are quite shocking – seventy recommendations and perhaps fifteen have been achieved. 
 In one recently we’d made twenty recommendations about safety and only two had been achieved.” 

Clarke took over the role of HMCIP Nick Hardwick, whose prison inspections were famed for leaving no stone, or prison lock, unturned in his endeavours to uncover the truth about conditions in the country’s jails. Hardwick’s fearless reporting of the facts apparently brought him into some conflict with the views of former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who decided not to renew Hardwick’s contract. 
When Michael Gove took over as Justice Secretary in July 2015 it was he who appointed Peter Clarke as Inspector. But if there was any notion that Clarke would be a less troublesome prisons overseer than his predecessor, his rigorous and unrelenting inspection reports over the last 12 months have firmly put them to rest.
Why is it, does he think, that in such an advanced civilised society as ours most of our prisoners live in such poor conditions? 
“I think it’s because we’ve become accepting and inured to it. ”
A good way of taking the temperature of our prison system on any month of the year is to read the pages of Inside Time I say. Does he read it? “Every month,” he says. “I’d go as far as to say that reading Inside Time was a very important part of my induction for this job. It gives a really good perspective of the situation.” And what exactly attracted him to the role in the in the first place? “Well if you look at the forty years now that I’ve been in public service, every role I’ve had has been marked by independence and almost all of the jobs I’ve done have been about finding out about things, establishing facts and reporting on them, and what could be more interesting and more important at this time than this role.”

Leadership, he says finally, is crucial to the good running of a prison. “There is good practice, some very good practice in many of the prisons I’ve visited and where we find it we will report on it so it can be picked up and replicated. And there is bad practice and we will report on that too. But when I go around a prison and get asked if I’m the governor, what does that say about the visibility of the governor? Strong leadership is essential.”

Work and Pensions Committee

 Haspublished the Government’s response to its report on the support for ex-offenders leaving prison.
 which indicates that the Government has accepted the case made for many of the Committee’s recommendations and is looking for ways to take them forward, including considering a range of ways to incentive employers to take on ex-offenders leaving prison. The suggestion of offering reduced National Insurance contributions to those employers is particularly “noted with interest”.

Today’s report shows that current government policy is failing people with convictions. There is no one person in government with responsibility for helping prison leavers into work and no clear strategy for how different agencies should work together to get people with convictions into employment.

“We are delighted that the Work and Pensions Committee has listened to the evidence that we submitted and has made a number of recommendations which, if implemented by government, would vastly improve the chances of people with convictions to become positive members of society rather than burdens of the state. Only a quarter on people leaving prison have a job to go to, yet stable employment significantly reduces the likelihood of people re-offending in the future.”
“Employers need to be encouraged to change their recruitment practices, and piloting a reduction in National Insurance contributions for those who actively employ people with convictions is a welcome step forward. Unlock supports the Committee’s recommendation of taking the “ban the box” campaign further by considering putting it on a statutory footing for all employers. We know that this practical change in recruitment practice, alongside other ‘fair chance recruitment’ measures, increases the chances that employers will recruit people with convictions.”

“We are pleased that the Ministry of Justice is working on a new employment strategy. This needs to be done jointly with the Department for Work and Pensions and place significant focus on people with convictions in the community. Crucially, it must recognise that no level of training or education in prison will overcome the negative approaches taken by employers, so supporting and challenging employers in their recruitment practices needs to be a fundamental part of this strategy. More broadly, government needs to fundamentally reform the law around criminal records disclosure to prevent the unnecessary and disproportionate barriers that people face long after they’ve served their sentence.”

The Committee encouraged employers to change their recruitment process and made a number of recommendations to both government and companies, including:

  • Extending Ban the Box to all public bodies, with exclusions for the minority of roles where it would not be appropriate for security reasons
  • Piloting the reduction of National Insurance contributions for those employers who actively employ people with convictions
  • Consider making banning the box a statutory requirement for all employers and develop practical guidance to help employers recruit people with a criminal record
  • All prisons should be required to demonstrate strong links with employers, including local businesses
  • Government clearly state who has ultimate responsibility for helping prison leavers into work
  • All Jobcentres should have a specified person who specialises in helping ex-offenders into employment with expertise on matters such as disclosure of convictions
  • Recognising employers that actively employ people with convictions by factoring it into procurement and commissioning decisions.

What have the  Howard League Reform said post date.

The manifest of the IPP, this is a sensible, level-headed and just reform. We cannot continue to incarcerate thousands of people because of something they might do. It is manifestly unfair and it is causing chaos inside prisons as people are caged for years past the date they expected to be released with no end in sight.


Project: Fair Access to Employment award-winning charity

We're encouraging employers to recruit people with convictions and deal with criminal records fairly. We're also challenging discrimination.

What we do
Unlock is an independent, award-winning charity for people with convictions which exists for two simple reasons. Firstly, we assist people to move on positively with their lives by empowering them with information, advice and support to overcome the stigma of their previous convictions. Secondly, we seek to promote a fairer and more inclusive society by challenging discriminatory practices and promoting socially just alternatives. What does this mean in practice? Worried about your criminal record? We provide advice & support.Work and Pensions Committee has published the Government’s response to its report on the support for ex-offenders leaving prison, which indicates that the Government has accepted the case made for many of the Committee’s recommendations and is looking for ways to take them forward, including considering a range of ways to incentive employers to take on ex-offenders leaving prison. The suggestion of offering reduced National Insurance contributions to those employers is particularly “noted with interest”.



Siobhan Ryan
I see Amnesty International as a high profile organization renowned for their worldwide intervention for the atrocious crimes commited against humanity and one cannot even put into words the commendable work that you do. Yet even on British territory and what makes it more deplorable is the fact that it is legalised through the Imprisonment for Public Protection  (IPP) law that has since been abolished in 2012 there are currently 4000 + IPP prisoners subject to this inhumane law whereby a prisoner remains entrapped in prison indeterminately with no known release date despite having served their sentenced time known as a tariff hence serving extra years and years in prison unable to secure a release due to the legislation that they have to satisfy certain criteria which will be impossible to prove. And even if they are eventually released they remain on licence and can be recalled back to prison on the hear say of a probation officer and once again remained detained indeterminately even tho' they have served their time for the original crime that they committed  Statistics show that this has resulted in the highest risk of suicides amongst this category of prisoners and it is psychological torture for the prisoner to be incarcerated indefinitely. The IPP families campaign website run by Katherine Gleeson is relentlessly challenging the government to amend this law for the prisoners still subject to it. Therefore I think that any support that can be given by Amnesty International to Katherine Gleeson to support the cause of ending this law can only be beneficial to the prisoner caught up in the total injustice and inhumanity of being detained indefinitely. If you  are not already aware of the website please look up on the internet the IPP Families Campaign website for a the lates update. Any support will be appreciated.
Kind regards 
Siobhan Ryan

Also See  reply from Amnesty International   

Subject: RE: Inhumane entrapment of prisoners in British prisons personally tortured under the IPP law
To: "Siobhan Ryan.
Dear Siobhan Ryan,
 The large numbers of prisoners in the UK are still jailed under the now abolished IPP sentencing policy is hugely concerning. It is not an issue Amnesty has yet been involved with, and unfortunately this has largely been the result of remit and resource issues. When making decisions about which cases we work on careful consideration is paid to the level of effectiveness we believe we’ll have, and also the amount of crossover that might occur with the work of other organisations.

In this instance there are a number of other UK organisations whose expertise would lend itself to this important issue, including Liberty, Justice Gap, Howard League and the Prison Reform Trust.

I’m sorry we can’t have a more direct involvement, but do get back in contact with us if you have any further questions.

Kind regards,

Supporter Communications Team

Amnesty International UK
Human Rights Action Centre
17 - 25 New Inn Yard

Tel:        (020) 7033 1777

Kem You have my email address contact me I received a 22 month ipp and ended up serving over 10 years I had no proven adjudications recorded against me nothing just unable to progress due to the poor structure and resources made available
Umm I Guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them 
McSherry Unfortunately....people dont care till something affects them personally....thats the sad reality in life....instead of being united they choose to stay divide
Owen Absolutely bang on. Treat people badly and you will cause psychological damage.