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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

We did it! This afternoon, the Court of Appeal ruled that cuts to legal aid for prisoners are unlawful. This is a major victory.

Howard League for Penal Reform

We could not have done it without your support. Our work does not end here; there is still much to do. As prisons continue to deteriorate, with violence, self-injury and suicide rising to record levels, we want to ensure that we can take action like this again in the future. Can you help by making a donation?

Our movement is growing. Today shows what Howard League members can achieve by working together. Our legal challenge, taken jointly with the Prisoners’ Advice Service, will change lives.
With your support, the Howard League can continue this vital work to build a fairer society with less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
Thank you.
Frances Crook.


Government prisoner legal aid cuts judged ‘unlawful’ by Court of Appeal

Written by: Nicholas Mairs Posted On: 11th April 2017

Rules introduced by ministers to stop legal aid being granted to prisoners in certain situations have been deemed unlawful by the Court of Appeal.

The three judges found rules around pre-tariff reviews by the Parole Board, category-A reviews, and decisions on placing inmates in close supervision centres, to be “inherently unfair”.

The judges’ unanimous verdict ruled that the government did not provide enough “alternative support” after stripping back legal aid.

“The consequence is that almost no changes have been introduced to replace the gap left by the removal of legal aid,” they said.
“We have concluded that, at a time when ... the evidence about prison staffing levels, the current state of prisons, and the workload of the Parole Board suggests that the system is under considerable pressure, the system has at present not got the capacity sufficiently to fill the gap in the run of cases in those three areas.”

Campaigners who challenged the cuts, which were introduced by then justice secretary Chris Grayling in 2013, hailed the judgment as a “groundbreaking victory”.
The successful appeal by the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ advice service could now pave the way for a judicial review.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “It vindicates our concerns that cuts imposed by the former Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling, in 2013 presented a grave risk that prisoners would become stuck in a broken system.
“This sends a clear message that important decisions about prisoners cannot be made efficiently or fairly in the face of these cuts. We look forward to hearing from the Lord Chancellor with her plans to give effect to the judgment,” she added.

Deborah Russo, joint managing solicitor of the Prisoners’ Advice Service, said: “This is an unprecedented and groundbreaking legal victory in which the vulnerability of the prison population is fully recognised as a key factor in its limited ability to access justice. Common law came to the rescue of a marginalised and often forgotten sector of our society.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We note the court of appeal’s judgment on changes made to legal aid regulations – introduced in 2013 – and will consider whether to appeal.”


Politics UK

Lis trust should be stripped of lord Chancellor rolw, Cabinet urges  Theresa May......

Bereaved families bring case against government over prisoners suicides. Lis Truss and the governor of Hmp Woodhill are subject of cases brought bt relatives of those who have taken there lives at the prison.

Winchester prison failure to provide mental health, despite warnings and inquest into deaths
New blow to Justice Secretary Liz Truss as MPs say: scrap plans for prison league tables.

Prison reform March 2017
Prison office acted unlawfull causing death.

Sucide after been told you will be deported.

Out of control prison

Lis Truss show contempt to prison Ministers

Failing of care say experts

Lack of action is the cause of rising death tole

Privatizing the prison Lis Truss....?


Horton  Go Justice Committee! You tell Liz Truss! She hasn't a clue.

Animus  He was just 18 when they took him . supposed to be gang related ... sorry but they were all mates from 4 years of age.

Jez This is what happens. Friends look out for each other and become a social group. They can become in trenched in a gang style life. Judges tend to be totally out of touch with that way of life and aren't encouraged to bear this in mind when passing sentence. Being in prison doesn't improve his trust of anyone outside his social group either. That's why its so important that they, the probation and prison service show those respect and help thoughts through there sentence positively.

Maura i have 3 sons on ipp with ten years i don't feel like im alive its a night mare sentence i some times think i cant go on no longer my sons were kids when they went to prison i pray every day just to see them free before i die they did not kill or rape any one i read you created this sentences for that kind of crime im dead inside since lost them please some one listen and get rid of IPP give a sentence with a little hope please please my sons need hope so do i please god

The London school of Economics and Political Science is on the 16 May 2017 will be working on the parole board system as more people are serving indeterminate sentences than than in other 48 countrys. 

At the meeting Academics and criminal justice professionals will be challenging the current system for deciding if someone can be safely be released from prison and suggest an alternative way of approaching risk and release from prison for those serving the longest sentences. i will be attending.
katherione Gleeson

Monday, 10 April 2017

IPP. At all stages, we’ll need to offend the mainstream media with the truth! Barrister,Flo Krause said: "Can you imagine what it’s like to have no release date? You cannot plan, cannot dream ... It's brutal and disgusting

Looking for solutions
Can prison ever work? What do you think could work? The experts give their view. Write in and tell us in no more than 300 words.

Peter Dawson
Director of the Prison Reform Trust
Invest in trust and carrot
“The solution is to invest in the people that we know are at risk of prison”
Most of the answers to the prison crisis can be found in what happens long before someone gets sent to prison. We send people to prison for too long. Average sentence length for serious crime has grown by over 50% in 10 years, and we have more than twice as many people serving indeterminate sentences as France, Germany and Italy combined. More than any other factor, that is what has meant that our system has stayed at around 25 % overcrowding for as long as anyone can remember.
The solution is to invest in the people that we know are at risk of prison. We’ve actually done this where children are concerned, and the number of children in prison is a quarter of what it was a few years ago. It’s time to take the same approach across the board.
In the short term recruiting more staff is certainly part of what’s needed, but prisoner numbers could be reduced quickly and safely by:
• Broadening eligibility for HDC;
• restricting recall for breaches that don’t involve committing another crime;
• changing the release test for IPP prisoners so that it’s the prison that has to make a case for why they shouldn’t be released on tariff expiry – not prisoners trying to prove that they are no longer a risk.
Inside prisons, we need:
• Some carrot alongside the stick. There is no reason why ROTL for employment, education and resettlement shouldn’t be a major part of all but the shortest sentences.
• Prisoners and staff talking together to solve problems. The Prison Reform Trust has been facilitating these conversations in a variety of prisons over the last two years. They always come up with practical ways to improve the way of life day to day. Prisoners are the huge wasted resource of ideas and talent in prisons – there has never been a more important time to put that right.

Carl Cattermole
Former prisoner and Guardian contributor
Offend with the truth
“True justice is one that makes wider society better and safer in the short and long term”
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what happens behind the razor-wire topped walls of
Britain’s 150 prisons is released into society every single day of the week.
Prison conditions have gone from ‘worst ever’ to ‘even worse’ to ‘how low can you go’
 and that is emitted to the outside world – obviously by prisoners who are too often serving very short sentences for minor crimes – but also by friends and family on the outside serving their own sentence, and staff of the prison estate doing a very difficult job.
The prison crisis is a blip of bad news for the average person while they read the paper or scroll through their social media but for us, it’s a day-in day-out endurance of overdue release dates, depression, longing and frustrations.
 ""For the House of Commons though, it’s like one big game of prison policy ping-pong – avoiding truths and spinning the issue, with the media as the umpire."
The prison crisis has become so complex, so knee deep, that it all seems a long way from a state of criminal justice we can be proud of as a nation. But the truth is that fixing the ‘justice system’ is incredibly simple.
There are short term solutions – like increasing funding, actually making courses available, fixing the hole in the fence where drugs get thrown over every week. There are slightly longer term solutions – retaining quality members of staff, changing the law so that we only imprison people for really serious crimes.
And then there are proper fixes that require us to question what justice actually means – do we want revenge or should we actually talk about why these issues arise in the first place, we must treat offenders with humanity, how we can make prisons healthy places to work and spend time, and save ourselves a lot of taxpayers money in the meantime. If we really rationalise it, we will see that prisons and the current concept of justice is a true dark age of ignorance.

At all stages, we’ll need to offend the mainstream media with the truth.

‘Justice’ has become a childish revenge that the Daily Mail want served frozen cold, at least so they have a pantomime in order to sell papers. In the human world though justice is a dish best served hot and hearty with care and compassion. People are currently obsessed with a contradictory form of justice that creates more and more crime – true justice is one that makes wider society better and safer in the short and long term.
Maybe the Ministry of Justice should be renamed the Ministry of OK You Messed Up But I Understand Why And Let’s Talk About It So You Don’t Do It Again?
All jokes aside – the justice Dark Age must end. We 100% must avoid the American system where jail is a big money industry that gives people 25 year sentences for stealing a DVD and imprisons more black people than slavery ever did. Let’s move towards being more like a European system where they are closing jails, treating humans like humans, saving money and seeing fewer and fewer prison leavers reoffend.

Frances Crook
Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform
Implement the three Rs
“The rules around incentives and earned privileges must be revised”
The first ‘R’ is Rules. Instead of solving problems, imposing additional days of imprisonment for the breaking of prison rules feeds a vicious cycle. It increases pressure on the prison population and worsens overcrowding, which in turn further enforces the conditions for drug abuse and violence.
At the same time, prisons have made rules to incentivise prisoners’ behaviour more punitive, which is also contributing to the poisonous atmosphere behind bars.
Solutions could include making the imposition of additional days an indicator of a poorly performing prison, suspending the imposition of additional days conditional on good behaviour, or removing the option of additional days entirely. The rules around incentives and earned privileges must also be revised.
The second ‘R’ is Release. Prisoners need more opportunities to earn their return to the community through temporary release and parole.
Use of temporary release has fallen by a third since 2013. This means that prisoners cannot demonstrate that they are ready to be released, and it leads to longer sentences.
The Parole Board ought to be resourced adequately, and ministers should adopt a recommendation made by its Chair, Nick Hardwick, that the test for release should change. This would involve the Prison Service having to demonstrate that a person still presents a risk, rather than a prisoner demonstrating that they do not.
The third ‘R’ is Recall. The number of people in prison due to recall has increased by 4,300 per cent in 20 years.
Sending someone back to prison for a technical breach of their licence conditions is unjustified. Breaches should be dealt with in the community.


Anonymous Can relate to this as I am feeling the same I  see a light at the end of the tunnel wen I think of my son 39;s the same feeling I have when I think of my mum and sister who both passed away years ago how many of more lives will be taken before the people with the power end this nightmare I don want to leave my children and grandchildren but I;m not sure if I can carry on with the future full of disappointment .
Wayne: ‘I felt lost and scared, depressed and suicidal and trapped  
Stewart Some common sense is required and massive reform.

Queen  My son got 2 years don 11 years has a loving family and a job and a home to go to no still pissing in to the wind a probashon hostel in a town he dont no and had no benefit for 6 weeks wot is it all for the gravey train some one some wear must be geetin money for pain.
Ryan  Hi Katherine I regularly review your website and the more I read the more I am absolutely appalled by the inhumane treatment of IPP prisoners of which my friend is also currently imprisoned under its recall. I have done my letter to Liz Truss and to the local MP and I will be following it up with the local MP if I don get a response by visiting the MPs surgery where you can meet face to face. The prison situation as well the indeterminate release of prisoners is diabolical and it is about time the government really took notice. Looking at the Prison Officers Association (POA) website there is unrest amongst them with the prison situation and I think that if we could also get the POA on board the campaign as a united front to support each others causes then maybe the government might finally take notice. Let face it the POA have taken strike action before. I cannot abide the pathetic excuses that are made by the government over IPP and Liz Truss.

Anonymous This should be faster why are they saying by 2017 and 2020 move your fingers and open the doors now...let them out and get it sorted they mess about too much and its already been 4 years since it was abolished...why are they still in stuck in 2016 sorry but it makes me mad that they don't rush them through...let some out now nobody would know....I bet we are still here in 2020 talking about it.

Nick Having read many IPP blogs and accounts, I am appalled that this is considered Justice in the UK. You do the crime, you do the time (preferably with re-education + positive self contemplation).. but trashing young lives indefinitly is torture for them and their families if the sentence has no forseeable end. No wonder prison suicides are on the increase. Put on end to this expensive tragedy NOW!

Jeremy My heart goes out to anyone suffering the injustice of an IPP sentence, the latest post, posted by Katherine Gleeson this morning goes to show how much SUFFERING is being caused. All I can say to that individual is please do not give up home. There are people out here who know your suffering and we are doing everything we can to help you. The longer the government ignore their duty to resolve this injustice, the louder our voices will shout. We will make sure they are held to account. Keep going, stay strong. Your voices are being heard.

Heart My boyfriend, my best friend has now been in 11 1/2 years &; 7 years over tariff. He just sat his parole board and got back his answer, which was a heartbreaking knock back of a further 2 years. And all of this what for because some independent person who worked with him briefly for a period of 7 hours said that he needed to do a further 8 hours of of 1 to 1 sessions. Somebody, tell me where is the justice in that, how can you confined a person for 2 more years in order to do 8 hours... there are 24 hours in a day....who is listening to this inhumane torture and is something going to be done on

 Anonymouse  On the 29 march 2017 we buried my brother Craig  after serving 8 years on a ipp sentence with a 2 year tariff they left him in the ocean with no rubber ring and no sign off the shore RIP brother .

Jez  The Prison Reform Trust and The Howard League have time and time again got to the heart of the problems but the government does nothing because it doesn't fit their agenda. We have a sleeping justice secretary who just gives lip service. She hasn't even got a legal qualification. If good change is to happen both the Prison Reform Trust and The Howard League need bigger voices to enable them to get the voice of common sense heard above the dribble of the current governments agenda.
I wanted to share this article. I know Flo she was an exceptional barrister. What she says about IPP is bang on in my opinion. I also share her view on our legal .system.


Flo Krause: Legal aid cuts have forced me out of my career at the bar .A barrister whose work for prisoners is legendary, spells out why she believes justice should be accessible for all, not just the wealthy


During her years at the bar, Flo Krause acquired a reputation for plain speaking and she remained true to form in the valedictory note she posted on her website when she hung up her wig in April.
“I am sick of the legal aid cuts, the lack of access to justice, the systemic delays for my clients, the deprivations of liberty that have become routine where nobody is outraged anymore. I am sick of the paternalistic and moralistic lifer system, the begging for release, the cruel and inhuman treatment of indeterminate sentence prisoners, the middle-class judging of people who end up in the system and the endless punishment of traumatised people. I am going to peddle my wares elsewhere.”
When that was posted, Krause, 55, was widely regarded as one of the leading practitioners of prison law. She has represented prisoners at some 5,000 Parole Board hearings and acted for them at around 1,000 applications seeking judicial review proceedings in her career as a barrister, making her something of a legend in penal circles.


She has acted for high profile prisoners, such as train robber Ronnie Biggs and serial killer Dennis Nilson., The former, to seek compassionate relief when he was very ill and for Nilson, the right to have the manuscript of his autobiography in his possession.
“I did not shy away from any case that made a legitimate point and gave voice to someone who would otherside have beeen voiceless. I didn’t take on any undeserving cases, only unpopular cases,” she says. Krause has scored notable victories at the highest level; in 2011, she persuaded the grand chamber of the European court of human rights to overturn the UK’s blanket ban on prisoners voting (even though successive governments have failed to act on the ruling). And, in 2009, the same panel ruled that, in some cases, the wives of prisoners had the right to conceive a child by artificial insemination using their partner’s sperm. In 2013, in the appeal court, she successfully argued that a severely disabled prisoner, Daniel Roque Hall,who suffered from a degenerative disease, should be released from prison because he could not receive adequate treatment.

We meet at her home, a converted milking barn, high on a hill overlooking Hebden Bridge, west Yorkshire, which Krause shares with her wife, who she has been with for 11 years (“I have been out since I was very young,” she says), two dogs and three sheep. Though born and brought up in Paris, Krause’s marked northern accent bears no trace of her French mother tongue.
The only child of a single mother, she never knew her father. Her mother, now deceased, was a director of photography, the first woman in France, she says, to hold such a post. A communist, she took the seven-year-old Flo to the protests that swept Paris in 1968.
Krause qualified as a solicitor in England in 1994. Out of the blue, she says, she was asked to represent a prisoner at a parole hearing. The man was a convicted murderer and rapist and she quailed at the thought of meeting him, thinking, “What if he comes for me?”
Her fears were groundless, the client was polite, grateful and felt terrible about what he had done. She won his freedom and, “all of a sudden, I became an expert in prison law,” she recalls.
She enjoyed meeting prisoners. “It was a different world. I have always wanted clients who had been dealt a bad hand in life to be heard, to be their voice, and so many prisoners fitted that criterion. There was also an aspect of ‘there but for the grace…’ When you delve into it, so many awful things have come about due to an accident of birth.”
Krause says that although she enjoyed her work
 as a solicitor, the amount of paperwork required to practise increased and she wanted to conduct judicial reviews, so she studied to become a barrister.
Of the thousands of cases she has taken on, Krause says that in all but a handful she has been paid by legal aid. She is not interested in rich clients, who she says can look after themselves. “Given my political views, I couldn’t do anything other than legal aid work. I believe strongly that the law should protect the most vulnerable and without legal aid this is impossible.”
So what led to the message on her website? Krause says she is exhausted. The strain of driving some 30,000 miles a year, visiting prisoners in practically every jail in England has taken its toll. And fighting a losing battle against what she calls a cruel and unjust system has left scars. She talks in particular of indeterminate sentence prisoners, held years over their tariff. “Can you imagine what it’s like to have no release date? You cannot plan, cannot dream. Then, if and when you get a parole hearing date, you find you have no lawyer. It is brutal and disgusting.”
Their plight was highlighted last week by the Prison Reform Trust which reported that the rate of self-harm among these prisoners had risen almost 50% in four years and showed they were in “despair”. Although the sentence was abolished in 2012, there are more than 4,000 prisoners with no release date.
Krause says that at one time legal aid was well paid and enabled lawyers to earn a decent living. She says that some cuts would have been acceptable. “The recent cuts, however, have ensured that young lawyers will never be able to build a legal aid practice.” In the last three years, she says she has done huge amounts of pro bono work, because the money allocated for a case ran out early on, but the case continued.
“My choices were either to drop the client mid-case, which I would never do, or continue to the end of the case for free. That happened in about a third of cases. A lot of cases were so badly paid that it wasn’t unusual for me to end up with £150 to prepare a case, drive to the jail, see the client, do the hearing and drive home. And I was doing that three times a week. I simply could not carry on.”
What will she miss? “The rapport with the clients, most definitely”, she replies. As for her victories, she says the job was so pressurised, she could not enjoy the successes. “When John Hirst won on prisoner voting, it was something to celebrate, but I was already on the next case, and the next case was always the most important one.
” Likewise,Daniel Roque Hall. “He would have died in prison, but I had another job to go to, quickly. No time to celebrate.”
Krause says she won’t miss the judges she came across, especially at high court level. “The majority are so removed from reality, so steeped in preserving the status quo, they cannot begin to see the point you are making to them,” she says.
Krause is deeply pessimistic about the future for those reliant on state-funded legal advice.
“It is important for the law to be accessible to all. At the moment it is only accessible to the wealthy, who need it the least. If the law is there to right wrongs and highlight abuses of power, then it is those who are deprived of it who need it the most.” She adds: “It seems there is nothing anyone can do and nothing anybody cares to do.”

Nigel Newcomen Prisons and Probation Ombudsman .
"Behind the statistics are stories of avoidable tragedy,".

He’s given up…

IPP – a partner’s story


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The only thing that prisons succeed in is warehousing people in appalling conditions and exposing them to hatred and thoughts of vengeance.

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% .
Gone up since  2017

Land of confusion

Prisons are failing.
Prisons will always fail and have always failed. The only thing that prisons succeed in is warehousing people in appalling conditions and exposing them to hatred and thoughts of vengeance. Also, it educates them to many other methods of criminal activity.
 Prisoners turn to each other for survival in a bad system.
They pretend to comply with courses and regimes, what there are of them but, in reality, all they are learning about is crime, from other prisoners.
Criminals in prison always exaggerate their criminal abilities, they form allegiances with other criminals and plan future crime. All prisoners are ‘damaged goods’, all have personal problems, so how can prisons do anything to change the life of a criminal? Even supposing that they had any inkling or resources to do it in the first place?
“The only thing that prisons succeed in is warehousing people in appalling conditions and exposing them to hatred and thoughts of vengeance”
The media regularly interview so-called experts, prison governors, Ministers, ex-prisoners and POA members, which makes the public confused as half of them are telling the public that prisons are like 4-star hotels, and the other half tell them that they are hellholes flooded with Spice and violence. First these experts tell the media/public that prisoners have taken over the jails, and in the next breath talk about prisoners being 23-hour-per-day lockdown. The confusion around our prison system is shocking and getting worse daily.
Break it down; look at the facts –
 there are 125 prisons in England & Wales, 86,000 prisoners, 25,000 staff. It costs billions of pounds to incarcerate people and the justice system is so complex that money is washed down the metaphorical pan. Most governors and assistant governors are inexperienced in working with damaged goods.
We need a clean slate and someone put in charge who knows how to do the right thing.
Richard B – HMP Frankland inside times
Your complaints are important to us 
I am writing on behalf of 2 prisoners who both put in complaints to be looked at by the IMB. One put his complaint in the IMB box in January 2016, and the other was in March . They received no acknowledgement from the IMB and, eventually, their cases were resolved by the PPO. Then, on the 6th of February 2017, the 2 men received a letter from the IMB, which stated:
‘It has recently been brought to my attention that the IMB box on Houseblock 3 has not been emptied for some weeks (!) and we have not been able to address your concerns. The emptying of IMB boxes is not one of our responsibilities, however, on behalf of IMB Moorland I would like to apologise for the stress this may have caused.’
My question would be – WHO is responsible for emptying the IMB boxes? And, do you think it is right that 13 months between emptying IMB boxes is a bit negligent?
I would like an explanation please – either from NOMS or the IMB themselves. This is a disgrace, and I would like to know how the IMB at Moorland would think it was normal to not receive a written application or complaint in over a year?

This will dramatically improve prisoner/staff relationships that can aid a prisoner’s rehabilitation.

I’m not a number
Here at Littlehey, the majority of staff address prisoners by their surnames. In my view this is quite disrespectful. It also goes against NOMS own stated policies on mutual respect and discourages good order and discipline.
I spoke with wing staff and even wrote informing them how I would like to be addressed and reminding them of the use of the prefix ‘Mr’ or ‘Peter’ followed by the surname. Staff ignored my request, so I escalated the issue via a COMP1 & 1A, and the complaint was upheld with the added suggestion of speaking with staff direct, which I have done, to no avail. I even used the Confidential Access procedure, and the governor stated – ‘This is a matter that senior management are taking forward under both decency and rehabilitative culture agenda’.
The recommendation to speak to staff directly is a dangerous thing to do, as I have no doubt that when staff are reminded of the correct etiquette, they will interpret this as ‘confrontational’, and could result in a string of negative entries/behavioural warnings.
I would like to remind prison staff, through your pages, that they act as pro-social role models to prisoners, and it is important that the correct method of address is used accordingly. This will dramatically improve prisoner/staff relationships that can aid a prisoner’s rehabilitation.
I honestly think that if prisoners started addressing prison staff by their surnames only, staff would interpret that as a lack of respect. So, where’s our respect?
No more NOMS          
The new service to replace the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will be Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
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.
  • 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
“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.


Im out on lpp licence, lve been recalled twice since my first release once for 6 months once for a year, on both occasions l proved l done nothing to warrant the recall and had the parole board say sorry! Yet l cant do a thing about lt, lts making me really bitter! ls that protecting the public making people bitter????? lde love to talk to the BBC .
No chance of succeeding, the POA’s primary role is to create recidivists, more prisons, more screws, more power. Until this vile organization is outlawed, classed a threat to the public and national security, prisons will remain Hate Factories, churning out dehumanized recidivists to keep POA members employed. No screw wants to see rehabilitation succeed and prisons close. There will never be pride in working in HM Hate Factories/Human Warehouses, prisons are staffed with no-hopers, the dross end of the dole queue. Until penal policy is independent of self-serving, demagogic, parasitic politicians, and any organization with vested interests in recidivism, prisons will continue to fail the public, and serve the parasite that feeds off the less fortunate in society.
 Tom Barnet    
This guy is spot on, the POA are an organisation whose methodology is nowadays sophisticated but remains collusive and subversive with the sole purpose of undermining any government or management initiative which will reduce the requirement for so many people to be incarcerated. they are a scurge on our society.

 louise Fewster

Original Message-----
From: Louise Fewster <>
To: '' <>
Sent: Mon, 3 Apr 2017 17:30
Subject: IPP Case study enquiry

Hi, Katherine
I’m working on a story to find out how many IPPs are in England jails.
I am wondering if you know of any families who has someone in Full Sutton jail near York who is on an IPP and would be willing to talk to me about it?
The interview would be pre-recorded and can be anonymous.
Kind regards,
BBC York


He’s given up… the situation is completely desperate !

IPP – a partner’s story

For those of you who don’t know (and there can’t be many who don’t!), the IPP sentence (Imprisonment for Public Protection) was introduced by former Home Secretary David Blunkett via the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), in April 2005.  In effect, the IPP sentence is open-ended and the recipient must satisfy certain criteria before being considered for release, i.e. that they have ‘reduced their risk to the public’.
Unfortunately, this sentence has become a bit of a millstone around the neck of the British criminal justice system as it was used far more frequently than was ever envisaged by its architects.  Around four thousand men and women are ‘stuck’ in prison, having received short tariffs, unable to access the courses and programmes they need to prove them fit for release. 

The IPP sentence has caused a logjam in the parole system that is affecting more and more prisoners every day, and is partly responsible for prison overcrowding.
I spoke to Soozy Thom, who has a partner serving an IPP sentence and who is trying to raise awareness around the problem.
Can you tell me a bit about your partner’s situation?
He was given an IPP with a two-year tariff when he was 20-years-old.  He is now 32-years-old, and eight-and-a-half years over his tariff.  He did okay for the first 5 or 6-years, done all his education, gym-courses and all the offending behaviour programmes.  Some of the programmes he did twice, simply because they said he should.  But the knockbacks have taken it out of him.
Was he given any reason for the parole knockbacks?
It’s incredible some of these things that people in authority come out with.  They say he’s institutionalised, can you believe that?  This is coming from the people who have kept him in prison since he was 20-years-old!  They say he does not have a ‘pro-social’ attitude, and that he is aggressive.  Wow, he’s been in an anti-social and aggressive environment for almost a decade, so who’s fault is it that his environment has shaped him?   
He hasn’t had any adjudications for violence or anything serious, but you cannot spend over 8-years in prison without getting IEP warnings, they give them out for petty stuff.  He’s had an IEP warning for wearing flip-flops on the landing amongst other things, all trivial things that would have no bearing on how he would behave in the outside world.  The trouble is, if you don’t just sit back and keep your mouth shut, if you question the authorities in any way they see you as a serial complainer and treat you accordingly.  He hasn’t committed another crime in over 8-years, but the system seems hesitant to progress those with IPP.
Does he have a Parole hearing any time soon?
At the moment his parole hearing is late by over 8-months, but he will still have to go to a D-cat prison before release.  So, that means more delay before he can come home.

How do you feel about that?
Well, the theory of D-cat is great, but it does not match up to the reality.  We know that even if he gets to D-cat it is only a start.  He will have to have a ‘lay-down’ of between 9 and 18-months before they will even consider him for a home visit.  It just seems never-ending.
How is he coping with this?
He’s given up…
How do you mean?
He has decided to live his life and not let it hurt him.  It may sound strange, but being in a position where your hopes are constantly dashed, where you have no hope of freedom, and that’s how he sees it, has kept him alive.  He just goes about his life in prison because that is all he knows now.  If you do not build your hopes up, then the knockbacks can’t hurt as much.  You just shrug and get on with it.  The alternative is frightening, it is a fact that IPP prisoners make up 50% of prison suicides.  The truth is that he is terrified that he’ll just keep getting knocked-back and the constant disappointment will destroy him eventually.
And how does this affect you, it must be hard?
I just think the situation is completely desperate.  It’s a struggle.  I’m constantly writing to people about his plight, constantly reading up on the law and any changes in the law, looking for a loophole or anything that will help us.  I write a blog about this stuff, it helps me to cope, but it can be very emotional.
Has anyone in authority been of help?
My partner has been a big help.  When I have my ‘down’ days it is him who cheers me up. But, as for anyone in authority? No, not really.  I’ve had to do it all myself.  The only people who really understand all this are people who have been through it themselves.  The blog helps, it lets me get things out there. The worst thing has been the attitude and behaviour of the Probation Service.  They seem to think that 2 phone interviews with my partner are enough to judge him and make negative reports.  Also, within OMU, the constantly changing staff do not help.  You cannot build up any kind of relationship when it is someone different every time.   
So, what are your hopes for the future?
We have no idea what might be around the corner, but we do know that it will not be easy. I just want him to come back to a warm, loving home.
Thank you, and good luck to you and your partner.
About the Author

Dying in prison:

The number of women who died in prison in England and Wales reached a record high of 22 last year, and more than half of them took their own lives, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Nigel Newcomen reported this week.
"Behind the statistics are stories of avoidable tragedy," says Deborah Coles, director of the charity Inquest.
Most women who end up in prison have experienced a range of problems, such as addiction, mental illness, abusive relationships or homelessness - and if these problems had been addressed, Coles argues, things might have turned out differently.
Here are two of the stories behind the grim statistics of 2016.

Jessica Whitchurch

When she died in May last year she was serving her longest-ever sentence - 16 months for street robbery.
"Jess seemed like she was thinking about the future - when she got out and she wanted to get into counselling," says Beth, who visited her three days before her death.
While in prison she was diagnosed with a personality disorder and severe depression. she also complained that she was being bullied by other inmates, say her siblings. She had been placed on a care plan known as ACCT, used for those thought to be at risk of self-harm or suicide.
When the 31-year-old killed herself she only had two months left to go on her sentence. On 20 May, two days after being rushed to hospital, she was pronounced brain-dead and her life support was turned off.
She left behind a handmade birthday card for one of her nieces and a note that said: "To Em, Beth and Ben - I'm really sorry, I had to do this. Be strong. I'm with mum and dad now."
Jessica was one of three women to kill themselves at Eastwood Park in 2016.
When her siblings saw her body, it was covered with scars resulting from self-harm.
"Jess should not have been in prison, she should have been in a mental health facility," says Emma. "She needed peace. That root of all evil needed to be found, and putting her in prison just tormented her."

By Kirstie Brewer


 Kelly So sad many know how you feel I really don't think Liz truss is qualified to do this job ! Needs someone with a backbone and common sense! The money around £80.000 I a year to keep 1 IPP locked up just let them home with A support worker =£25 per year to help them reintegrate and give the savings to NHS simple makes me so so cross because seems nobody wants to deal with this BIG major injustice unless money is involved .still waiting for my MP and Ministry of Justice to answer my questions from MAY last year. If I had work on my desk not dealt with for that period of time I would have to give very good explanation or be sacked
1 rule for 1 how does that work in LAW ??

Umm Your so right it's so unjust and so very sad we all feel this way and it's not fair that this women allows it as it's like she wants the money instead of doing something about the injustice x
I have now stopped doing anything , as I have realised that there is no point. I know I am going to die in prison.