Failures in the criminal justice and parole systems have resulted in far too many people with IPP sentences being held in prison for many years after their tariff (minimum term) has expired. They have been denied the opportunity to demonstrate whether they present a continuing risk to the public, or to have this properly assessed. IPP sentences have not worked as intended and the current situation in which many prisoners find themselves is clearly unjust.
already under strain… This has not only increased pressure, and reduced manoeuvrability,
within the prison system; it has also meant that a great deal of officials’ time and energy
has been taken up with simply finding enough prison spaces. Similarly, the Probation Service was increasingly under strain as a result of increased workloads. This was a perfect storm. It led to IPP prisoners languishing in local prisons for months and years, unable to access the interventions they would need before the expiry of their often short tariffs.’
4.8 On 31 March 2016 a further 565 IPP prisoners were in custody having been recalled to
prison after release. When recalled prisoners, who by virtue of the fact they have previously
been released are all beyond their tariff expiry date, are added to the figures above, 83%
(3,895 out of 4,698) of IPP prisoners in custody were post-tariff. Twelve per cent of the total
male IPP prisoners (552 out of 4,614) were recalls compared with 15% of the women IPP
prisoners (13 out of 84). This is a concerning figure and could not have been the intention
when these sentences were passed."
offenders: in 2015, around 500 IPP sentence prisoners were released, but 391 were recalled in this period. Most of this was not related to reoffending, but rather to 'risky' behaviour such as the use of alcohol/drugs, which can still manifest in the community. In addition, through discussion with recalled IPP prisoners, there is some anecdotal evidence that gaps in the provision of some key community services, for example mental health services, can lead to a breakdown of the release plan.