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Tuesday, 12 January 2021

IPP licence termination apply for consideration 10 years after your initial release, regardless of whether you have subsequently been recalled and re-released. Prison population / Determinate and Indeterminate sentences figures.


     IPP licence termination member guidance

The Parole Board has issued guidance to members on the termination of IPP licences for prisoners 10 years after their initial release.

Published 7 October 2020 From: Parole Board


An offender sentenced to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) or Detention for Public Protection (DPP) has the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and re-released.

It is only the Parole Board that can terminate an IPP or DPP licence. Rule 31 of the Parole Board Rules 2019 deals explicitly with termination of these licences.

Any applications for termination of an IPP or DPP licence should be made by the offender themselves, either to the Parole Board directly, or via their Community Offender Manager (COM).

Where an application is received by the Parole Board directly from the offender the Parole Board will notify PPCS via a standard direction and provide a copy of the application and the offender’s contact details. PPCS will then notify the COM, who will prepare a report to add to the dossier of information that the Parole Board will need in order to consider the application.

When the Parole Board receives the dossier of information it will carry out a risk assessment to establish if the licence can be terminated or if it is still required to protect the public. The Parole Board can make one of the following decisions:

(a) terminate the offender’s licence (b) amend the offender’s licence (c) refuse the application

Once an IPP or DPP licence has been terminated, the offender will not be subject to recall on that licence, and unlike the suspension of supervision (which is a separate process), all of the licence conditions related to that licence are terminated and may not be re-imposed.

If a request is refused a further application can be made after 12 months.

Extract from Parole Board Duty Member Guidance-2020Termination of IPP or DPP LicenceBackground5.7.1An offender sentenced to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) or Detention for Public Protection (DPP) has the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 19971to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their IPP2licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and re-released. For the purposes of this guidance reference to the IPP sentence will also include the DPP sentence.

5.7.2Any applications for termination of an IPP licence should be made by the licensee themselves, either to the Parole Board directly or via the National Probation Service (NPS)/PPCS. However, where an application is received directly from the licensee to the Parole Board, the NPS will still need to be notified, via PPCS, so that the correct information pack can be prepared.

5.7.3It is only the Parole Board that can terminate an IPP licence.

5.7.4Once an IPP licence has been terminated, the licensee will not be subject to recall, and unlike the suspension of supervision, all of the licence conditions are terminated and may not be re-imposed.

5.7.5Rule 31of the Parole Board Rules 2019 deals explicitly with termination of licences:“Applications to terminate IPP licences.

31.—(1) Where an offender qualifies to make an application to terminate their licence under section 31A of the 1997 Act, the offender may make a direct applicationto the Parole Board or apply through the Secretary of State.(2) Where an offender makes a direct application, the Board must serve the application on the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State must serve any reports or evidence as directed by the Parole Board.(3) Where an application is made through the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State must serve any reports or evidence at the same time as sending the application to the Parole Board.(4) Where the Parole Board receives an application, either from the offender directly or through the Secretary of State, a panel appointed under rule 5(5) must consider the application in accordance with section 31A(4) of the 1997 Act.

1Section 31A of the 1997 Act was inserted by the 2003 Act and has been amended by section 117(10)(a) of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 c. 10, and paragraph 141 of Schedule 16 to the Armed Forces Act 2006 c. 52.2IPP should be read to include DPP throughout this guidance

(5) In considering the application under paragraphs (2) or (3), the panel may—(a) make a decision on the papers, or(b) direct that the application should be decided by a panel at a hearing.(6) Where a panel considers the application on the papers or at a hearing, itmust decideto—(a) terminate the offender’s licence;(b) amend the offender’s licence in accordance with section 31(3) of the 1997Act, or(c) refuse the application.(7) Where a decision is made by a panel under paragraph (6), the Parole Board must record that decision in writing with reasons for that decision, and that record must be provided to the offender and Secretary of State within 14 days of the decision.

”PPCS and NPS role

5.7.6 Instructions on terminating licences are set out in PI 08/2015 –Managing Indeterminate Sentenced Offenders on Licence.

5.7.7 The NPS responsible officer is not required to make applications on behalf of the licensee and so requests can be initiated by the licensee as the starting point. However, responsible officers can, where they feel it appropriate, make contact withthe licensee and suggest making an application.

5.7.8 Alicensee does not require the support of the responsible officer in order to make an application directly to the Parole Board. However, the responsible officer is required to produce a report where an application is made.

5.7.9 PPCS will make contact with the appointed responsible officer and ensure all the necessary paperwork, as set out in the Parole Board proforma (which has been agreed by HMPPS officials), is provided.

5.7.10 Once all the information has been collated a “Request for Termination of IPP licence” form is completed and attached to the information pack and sent to the Parole Board. A copy of this Termination Report can be found at Annex This form must be signed by theLine Manager of the Responsible Officer and endorsed by an ACO or equivalent.

Managing cases: stage one –receiving the application

5.7.12 Upon receipt of an application directly from the licensee, the Secretariat will prepare a proforma which confirms receiptand requests PPCS to provide an information pack containing the following:

1.Notification of release

2.Last release decision

3.Release licence

4.Any post-release licence variation requests and outcomes

5.Licence cancellation application form

6.Reports from probation/police on up to date position

7.Previous parole dossier

5.7.13 Where the application has come via PPCS, the same proforma is used but with a variation of wording, acknowledging receipt of the information pack, which should contain allthe documents set out in the above list.

5.7.14 The proforma will be submitted to the duty member who will sign and date the form, after which the Secretariat will submit to PPCS. A copy of the proforma can be found at Annex 2.

Managingcases: stage two –considering the application

5.7.15 Once the information pack has been received and checked to ensure it contains all the required information, it will be submitted to the duty member for consideration.

5.7.16 It is important to check if this is the first application or if there have been previous requests that were refused. There must be a minimum of 12 months between each application. If the request is within 12 months of any previous request, the case should be referred back to PPCS to investigate and advise.

5.7.17Things to consider:

•The scale of progress across the ten-year period including work that has been carried out in the community to address the licensee’s risk factors and to meet sentence planning objectives. The Termination Report should summarise the key events during the licence period since initial release, highlighting any areas of concern or progress

•Content of previous progress reports submitted to PPCS

•The licensee’s current circumstances in terms of the stability of their lifestyle, current accommodation and history, current employment and history, and current relationships and history

•Whether the licensee has been recalled at any time over the ten-year period and if details of any recall are provided

•Whether applications to vary the licence conditions have been made at any point since release, and if so, the conditions under which any such variations were requested and granted (or refused)

•Whether the licensee is still under supervision, and when was the last contact

•What is or has been the frequency and nature ofcontact and how has this changed over the licence period

•If no longer under active supervision, when was it suspended

•Is there evidence that checks with other relevant agencies listed in the Termination Report have been carried out? If the licensee has come to

the attention of one or more of these agencies, their application must still be referred to the Parole Board, but full details must be provided

•What is current or last known risk of serious harmcategory? All four categories of risk ofserious harm (public, children, known adult, staff) should be considered and noted on the application if there is more than one category relevant to the licensee’s risk

•What is the current or last known MAPPA level?

•Any bespoke licence conditions still inplace

•Any previous applications to terminate the licence (with outcome)

•What is the recommendation of the responsible officer and is there sufficient information to support their view?

5.7.18 If victims are signed up to the Victim Contact Scheme, they have a right to be notified of the application and they are entitled to submit a Victim Personal Statement(‘VPS’). The VPS should confine itself to the impact that termination of the licence may have on the victim and not express a view about the termination.

5.7.19 If the licence is terminated all licence conditions will cease, including those relating to victims (non-contact and/or exclusion zones).

Managing cases: stage three –the decision

5.7.20 The decision to be made is whether you are satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the licence should remain in force; in which case the licence may be terminated.

5.7.21 The application will be dealt with as swiftly as possible, providing all required information is submitted with the information pack.

5.7.22 Once the decision has been made by the duty member, it must be issued within 14 days, in line with timeframes for parole decisions.

5.7.23 In making a decision you have the following options, as set out in the Rules:(a) make a decision on the papers, or(b) to direct that the application should be decided by a panel at a hearing.

5.7.24 If you believe that an oral hearing is necessary to properly consider the application, then directions will need to be issued on an MCA Directions form. The Secretary of Stateshould be directed to secure a suitable location for the oral hearing to take place.

5.7.25 If you have enough information in the papers, or after an oral hearing, to make a decision you can:

(a) terminate the offender’s licence

(b) amend the offender’s licence

(c) refuse the application

Quarterly: January to March 2020

Prison population: 30 June 2020

Main Points

79,514 prisoners in England and Wales as at 30 June 2020

The total prison population is 4% lower than the same point in the previous year, driven by a fall of around 3,500 between March and June 2020 as a result of COVID-19 disruption to courts.

17,092 first receptions into prison between January and March 2020

The number of first receptions represents a fall of 3% compared to the same period in 2019.

14,721 releases from sentences between January and March 2020

This is 5% lower than the same period in 2019. 

As the prison population shifts towards those serving longer sentences, we would expect fewer releases in a given period.

50,044 adjudication outcomes between January and March 2020

This is a fall of 8% compared to the same period 

in 2019. Additional days were awarded as punishment on 4,496 occasions – this is 17% lower than the same period in 2019.

6,690 licence recalls between January and March 2020

This is an 8% increase on the same quarter in 2019, driven by increases in recalls from determinate sentences of more than 12 months.

241,350 offenders on probation at the end of March 2020

This number has fallen by 5% compared to the number supervised as at 31 March 2019.

This publication provides offender management annual and quarterly statistics for the latest date available and provides comparisons to the previous year.

The most recent weekly management information published by HMPPS shows that the prison population has increased by around 100 (to 79,620) in the period since the end of June 2020.

At this stage, it is difficult to determine what level the prison population is likely to return to as courts return to business and changes in the offence mix committed over this period are taken into account.”

The prison population stood at 79,514 on 30 June 2020.

The sentenced prison population stood at 67,352 (85% of the prison population); the remand prison population stood at 11,388 (14%) and the non-criminal prison population stood at 774 (1%). 

suggests that the number of outstanding cases (“caseload”) for both Magistrates Court and Crown Court have shown a substantial increase since March 2020 – which has resulted in prisoners being held on remand for longer.

Broadly speaking, the longer-term trend shows marked decreases in prisoners serving short sentences of less than 4 years and increases in prisoner numbers serving longer determinate sentences of 4 years plus.

However, over the latest 12 month period there have been decreases in the sentenced prisoner population across all sentence lengths except for the very longest sentences (a 1% annual increase in the sentenced population serving determinate sentences of ‘14 years or more’, and an 8% increase in those serving ‘Extended Determinate Sentences (EDSs)’).

Extended Determinate Sentences (EDS)

EDSs were made available for courts to impose from 13 April 2015. On 30 June 2020, 5,815 prisoners were serving such sentences; an 8% increase compared to the same time last year.

Indeterminate sentences

As at 30 June 2020, there were 8,954 (8,618 male; 336 female) indeterminate sentenced prisoners (those serving Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences and life sentences) in the prison population. This represents an annual decrease of 4%.

There were 1,969 IPP prisoners as at 30 June 2020 which represents a decrease of 15% in the last 12 months. This figure has decreased since the June 2012 peak of 6,080, however the number of IPP prisoners who have been recalled to custody continues to increase; in the past year the recalled IPP population has grown by 22% (to 1,359).

The proportion of the IPP population who are post-tariff continues to increase; 94% of IPP prisoners were post-tariff as of 30 June 2020 compared to 92% at the same time the previous year.

The number of life sentenced prisoners (6,985) has decreased by 1% compared to 30 June 2019. There were 63 whole-life prisoners at the end of June 2020, with 3 additional life prisoners being treated in secure hospitals.

Recall to custody

The prison population who have been recalled to custody (9,226 prisoners) increased by 24% over the year leading up to 30 June 2020. This can be attributed to the rise in the number of offenders serving longer sentences, which are subsequently recalled shortly after.

Conversely there was a 9% increase in the number of recall admissions (to 6,494) in the latest quarter (compared to the same period in 2019). Of these, the number of recall admissions from determinate sentences increased by 8% and those from indeterminate sentences increased by 23%.

3. Releases

In the last quarter.

14,531 releases from determinate sentences and 190 from indeterminate sentences.

Prison releases from custodial sentences

There were 5% fewer releases during the quarter ending March 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019. There were large decreases in the number of releases from short sentences (less than 4 years) but an increase (3%) in releases from longer determinate sentences (4 years or more) compared to the same quarter in 2019. This reflects the general trend in the prison population away from short sentenced offenders, to those serving longer determinate sentences.

There were 190 releases from indeterminate sentences (85 IPP, 105 Life) between January and March 2020, a 12% decrease from the same period in 2019. The number of IPP and life releases fell by 10% and 13% respectively.

While the number of IPP releases tended to be around 130 and above per quarter in previous years, the number of released IPP prisoners is now declining, and is expected to continue in future quarters.

Releases on Temporary Licence (ROTL)

There were 98,938 incidences of ROTL during the quarter ending March 2020, which is a 2% increase on the same quarter last year. 4,957 individuals were given at least one incidence of ROTL between January and March 2020 - an increase of 16% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

There were 204 recorded Temporary Release Failures (TRFs) between January and March 2020. This is an increase of 18 compared with the previous quarter and an increase of 46 compared with the same period the previous year. TRFs as a proportion of temporary release incidences remain at a low level, with approximately only 1 in every 485 incidences of temporary release resulting in a failure between January and March 2020.

Prisoner transfers

There was a total of 20,898 recorded incidences of prisoner transfer during the latest quarter (2% decrease from last year). The majority of these (73%) were routine inter-prison transfers. 17,359 prisoners had at least one incidence of a transfer in quarter ending December 2019.

There were 50,044 adjudication outcomes between January and March 2020.

This is a decrease of 8% on the same quarter in the previous year. Additional days were awarded as punishment on 4,496 occasions in this quarter.63% 

5. Licence Recalls

The number of licence recalls between January and March 2020 was 6,690, of which 594 were recalls from Home Detention Curfew (HDC).

The total number of recalls increased by 8% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Offenders not returned to custody

The total number of quarterly recalls has generally been increasing since October-December 2016. Although the number of recalls increased by 8% from the same quarter a year ago, it represents a decrease of 1% from the previous quarter. There has been a marked increase in the number of quarterly recalls since 2018, partly due to increased HDC recalls and recalls of offenders from determinate sentences of 12 months or more.

The number of quarterly recalls of offenders released from a sentence of under 12 months has been relatively stable in recent years, averaging about 2,257 each quarter since January-March 2018.

After a fall in the number of offenders recalled from a sentence of over 12 months from early 2016 to mid-2017, the number of these recalls (including recalls of those with indeterminate sentences) has continued to trend upwards. Between January and March 2020, there were 4,374 offenders recalled from a sentence over 12 months, an increase of 10% in comparison to the same quarter in the previous year.

There usually is more than one reason for recalling an offender on licence. In recent quarters, about 4 in 10 recalls involved the offender recalled for facing further charges. Non-compliance was given as one of the reasons for recalling in about 7 out of 10 recalls in January-March 2020, consistent with recent quarters.

Between January and March 2020, 89 IPP prisoners and 46 prisoners serving a life sentence were re-released, having previously been returned to custody for a breach of licence conditions.


Offenders not returned to custody

Of all those released on licence and recalled to custody due to breaching the conditions of their licence between April 1999 and March 2020, there were 1,935 who had not been returned to custody by the end  of June 2020.

A further 17 offenders had not been returned to custody as of June 2020 after recall between 1984 and April 1999, meaning the total number of offenders not returned to custody at the end of June 2020 was 1,952. These figures include some offenders believed to be dead or living abroad but who have not been confirmed as dead or deported.

Of the 1,952 not returned to custody by 30 June 2020, 327 had originally been serving a prison sentence for violence against the person offences and a further 59 for sexual offences.

As at 31 March 2020, there were 241,350 offenders supervised by the Probation Service (Figure 2), representing a 5% decrease compared to the 31 March 2019. Over the same period, court order caseload decreased by 9% from 111,667 to 101,300, with the number of offenders on a community order (CO) decreasing by 10% and those on a suspended sentence order (SSO) with requirements decreasing by 8%. The total caseload of offenders supervised before or after release from prison at the end of March 2020 was 144,614, representing a decrease of 3% since the end of March 2019.

Figure 2: Number of offenders under Probation Service supervision, 31 March 2010 to 2020 (source for 2018 to 2020: Table 4.6; source for years prior to 2018: Table 4.7)

As at 31 March 2020, there were 241,350 offenders supervised by the Probation Service (Figure 2), representing a 5% decrease compared to the 31 March 2019. Over the same period, court order caseload decreased by 9% from 111,667 to 101,300, with the number of offenders on a community order (CO) decreasing by 10% and those on a suspended sentence order (SSO) with requirements decreasing by 8%. The total caseload of offenders supervised before or after release from prison at the end of March 2020 was 144,614, representing a decrease of 3% since the end of March 2019.

There needs to be a  Review of Self-inflicted Deaths of IPP prisoners in Prison   reflect the the real issues. 

Outdated review 2016 below.

Coronavirus recovery in prisons and probation

Monday, 11 January 2021

“The suffering caused by this disastrous sentence goes on... Seeking a reprieve can it be possible ?

14 December 2020 Aston Luff, solicitor, Hodge Jones & Allen, London.

Why is he in the news? The firm represented the family of Tommy Nicol, an IPP [Imprisonment for Public Protection] prisoner at HMP The Mount, who died in 2015. The family began a landmark claim alleging that the operation of the IPP sentence caused Tommy’s death, and the 

Administration of it constituted a breach of his right to life under the Human Rights Act. The Ministry of Justice has settled the claim.

Thoughts on the case: 

‘Despite the obvious injustices they cause, existing IPP sentences have proven   Tommy’s case, he was stuck in his IPP sentence, not for lack of effort or unwillingness to fulfil the requirements for his release. 

After repeated attempts to access the required rehabilitative courses, he conducted a hunger strike as a last resort. However, symptomatic of the IPP bureaucratic nightmare, this resulted in disciplinary hearings which denied him access to the very courses he was hoping to be accepted on.

 Like so many on IPP sentences, Tommy was stuck in a vicious cycle of bureaucracy and deteriorating mental health, caused by the sentence itself. Ultimately, he lost hope. Paying out damages does not guarantee that the government will get to grips with the human suffering caused by IPP sentences, so we hope that this settlement is a springboard for future change. 

The family have launched Ungripp, a campaign which sets out the changes that can be made to end the injustice.’

A prison service spokesperson said: ‘Our sympathies remain with the family and friends of Mr Nicol. 

Dealing with the media: ‘Even in the midst of their grief, Tommy’s family have always wanted to keep in mind the bigger picture, preventing others suffering as a result of the IPP sentence. Since the loss of her brother, Donna has been incredible. She has campaigned in the media, met with government ministers and supported families, to ensure that the stories of Tommy and other IPP prisoners are not forgotten as statistics. It was an important part of my role to support them in engaging with the media to help shine a spotlight on the injustice of the IPP regime.’

Why become a lawyer? ‘I previously worked at XLP, a brilliant youth work charity. Sadly, some of the young people and families we worked with were involved in court cases that left them feeling confused and helpless. I switched careers with the hope of supporting people amid tough times.’

UK government pays out to family of IPP prisoner who killed themself

"His family had begun a landmark claim in the high court, alleging the operation and administration of the IPP sentence constituted a breach of Nicol’s right to life under the Human Rights Act 1998, and led to his death. His time in prison was characterised by repeated setbacks with access to mental health care and rehabilitative courses that were crucial for him to progress his sentence and secure his release.The issues continue. n evidence seen by the Guardian, which would have been put to the high court, the consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Dinesh Maganty said Nicol and many other IPP prisoners were caught in a vicious cycle where, in order to be released, they had to complete programmes that were not available in sufficient numbers. Together with hopelessness, led to his suicide.”



Such a terrible sentence; and once again the same reasons eg lack of or non availability of specific courses for IPPs to progress poor adminstration. A landmark case was brought against the government for exactly these reasons, I believe in 2012, and here we are 8 years on and nothing has changed. The judge was right  the government  admitting the sentence is wrong it's time to change it.



Do you have a a question regarding the IPP sentence? Solicitor hope that this settlement is a springboard for future change.  is kindly hosting a free legal Q&A session for people serving the IPP Sentence

additionally  Family and advocates supporting those with a IPP sentence .

Wednesday 13th January 4pm-5pm. Read more and sign up here: LOCATION: Zoom - link to be sent following sign up , Dean Kingham who is an experienced solicitor from Swain and Co. He will talk about the current situation regarding the IPP sentence and answer any questions you may have.

Q & A Online Event: IPP Parole Hearings (


The parole board call for more applications.

 Three IPP have had there life sentence lifted  and almost 200 are thought to eligible at present. Public appeal for former IPP prisoners to come forward and apply to have their licence terminated.   inside time,org

Petition 35,581 of 40,000 signatures   

Thank you for supporting this and signing this  petition. lets get this signed by the masses. Prisoners, Family, Friends, Advocates, Media, and Supporters not forgetting staff working for the Prisons ….                       




Hello, IPP Campaign group

I am an IPP who has been released over 5 years with no issues etc since being released. 

However, probation refuse to support me when it comes to my suspension of supervision. 

Do you have any contact details of legal firms that have actually successfully challenged probation and their client is no longer under supervision?

I have spoken to many solicitors and none of them know much about IPP and none of them have successfully challenged probation.

They say they can help etc and it will cost x amount. However, all they want is money and have no real interest at heart,which is why I want a proven professional to help me.

Thanks for your time and i appreciate anything you can do to help.

Kind regards


(Name change for privacy )




Dear Charles

Before we give you any advice it is important for me to clarify that although we have a degree of legal knowledge, we are not solicitors and our opinions are just ours.  

We take great care in trying to ensure we give correct information but we cannot guarantee that we get everything right.

I am sorry to hear of your circumstances and I am afraid I am unable to bring you the news that I am sure you would welcome. 

The decision as to whether your supervision element of your licence can be cancelled (suspended) after 4 years is one for the LRRS (Lifer Review and Recall Section) and your probation officer.  It is not a decision that you can influence with legal counsel sadly, it is one purely for those relevant departments.   One possible avenue would be to ask for a formal reply on the matter and then to seek legal counsel for a judicial review concerning the issue but I wouldn’t hold your breath.   I should also clarify that legally all that is required is for cancellation to be considered.  The prison instruction 4700 gives a clear explanation of the process in chapter 13.9 Variation, Cancellation and Re-Imposition of Licence conditions (page 6-7) in the attached 31 page document titled PSO_4700. 

There are a few exceptions where an individual does not qualify which are covered on page 7, these relate to the type of index offence.

I obviously do not know how much you already know regarding this area.  The fact is that even if you were successful in getting the supervision element cancelled, it can be reactivated at any time if something happened.  For example, if you received a caution or a complaint was made or if relevant intelligence came to light.  Once reactivated you could be recalled or put back under supervision.

You mention that you have had five years under licence with no issues, which is really good news.  If you are not already aware you are entitled under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 to apply for consideration to be given to terminating your IPP licence 10 years after your initial release.  

So be sure to keep the date of your very first release from prison under the IPP sentence clear in your mind.  There has been a revision to chapter 13 of the PSO4700 during September this year clarifying that the ten year countdown starts from the date of initial release, so on the date of that anniversary be sure to send a formal application direct to the Parole Board requesting that under the said mention rule they consider terminating your licence. 

 If you are unsuccessful then reapply every year thereafter.  I have attached the relevant revision (Annex A) for clarification.  I personally recommend that people send the requests to the parole board because it is your right to do so and it removes any potential hostility between you and your probation officer.  The parole board will direct her/him to supply the relevant dossier and assessments when they commence your request.  So there is no need to go through your probation officer at all to instigate the process and unlike the request to cancel the supervising aspect, if you are successful in this request the licence is terminated permanently and cannot be reactivated. 

In relation to legal counsel, it is not necessary in this area unless you are being denied your right under section 31A to apply for consideration to be given to terminating your licence.  Legal representation will have little effect on the parole board’s decision however if after a few attempts you are not able to secure the termination then it would be prudent to seek legal counsel.  You would then be in a position to give the previous decisions and reasoning to the solicitor who could then make an informed assessment as to how to proceed. 

Stephenson Solicitors had a dedicated team to handle issues regarding IPPs, I also know a very good barrister called Dean Kingham who works for Swain and Co Solicitors.  We always recommend good legal counsel where it is appropriate, especially when seeking release representation.  If you have not at any point challenged your IPP sentence then this would be a worthwhile area to look into because changes were made during the early years of the IPP sentence’s use to the qualifying remit.  Unless your sentence has been properly assessed by an IPP specialist solicitor like Dean Kingham then you may have been incorrectly issued the sentence by the sentencing judge in the first place.  A specialist solicitor could identify whether this is the likely case and if successfully challenged you could have that sentence obliterated. This would be a far more worthwhile area to spend money on if you are in a position to do so.

I hope we have been able to help in some way.

Best regards

IPP Campaign group.




Dec 10, 2021

I am a Clinical Psychologist working with a man who is currently wishing to appeal his IPP. We would really benefit from some guidance and support with this better and thinking through what his options might be. Would this be something you are able to help with?

Many thanks in advance 

Dr,  Mark Wakes  

Clinical Psychologist 
Project Lead
Project Future 

(Name changed for privacy )



Dear Mark , 

Thank you for contacting us and yes I can give you some direction in this matter. 

It is most important that he gets in touch with a competent specialist solicitor who has experience in handling the IPP sentence.  If he did not appeal his sentence after it was issued there is a possibility that after proper reassessment he may be able to have the sentenced challenged.

There were changes made to the qualifying remit a few years after the sentence came into use because it quickly became evident it was being woefully over used. 

 One solicitor known to a member of the group is Dean Kingham, there are of course others.  I have put a link to his contact page below and a few other relevant solicitors.   Obviously it is wise to approach a number of specialist solicitors so tell him to have a good look through the Inside Time newspaper. 

 The first thing to do is probably the most difficult, that is for him to compile as much information about his conviction as he can but to put the information down as simplistically as possible, like a list of bulletin points.   You do not want to overwhelm the solicitors when you approach them initially but you want to provide quick and easy points to help them evaluate and respond reasonably quickly, they will ask for additional information as and when they need it.

.Vital information they will need:-


Name, prison number, location

Date of conviction, Court and ideally trial and sentencing judge

Type of conviction

Sentence minimum term

Whether the conviction was challenged

Did the sentence get challenged?

Any successful parole’s containing dates of release and recall

Date of last parole

In a short paragraph the reason given for his last parole refusal


Once he has done that and written out a good number of copies he is then ready to start sending them out to the relevant solicitors. 

Solicitors will take time to reply, he should however follow up each one with a polite chase letter containing a copy (if possible) of the original letter after 30 days if he receives no reply.  Be sure that he adds a degree of desperation in the chase letter and tells the solicitor how this sentence is affecting his mental health. 

I would also advice not informing them at this early stage whether he will need legal aid, this may switch some solicitors off straight away because of the complexities of handling cases under this provision.  They may ask this question in their reply which is fine but hopefully they will have given him an idea as to whether they are in a position to offer the specialist assistance he would need and if they do not deal with Legal Aid cases then he should always ask them for assistance in locating a suitable barrister that will.

I hope this helps.

Best regards

IPP Campaign group.

Links below to relevant solicitors



Dear IPP Campaign group,

Thank you for this information, this is incredibly helpful. Thankfully we had started compiling most of the information you suggested and reached out to a couple of solicitors, with no luck so far. Your additional list of contacts is very helpful. Can I ask, from your experience are there solicitors/barristers who do consider legal aid for these matters? So far that has been the main challenge for this client.

Many thanks again

Mark Wakes 

(Name changed for privacy ) 

Reply pending 

And if anyone would like to write a list could be compiled in Thank you in advance. 


Dec1st, 2021

Hi Katherine 

My son is in his 12 year of an IPP currently at..........., withheld). he will be there for approx 2 more years before even being considered for open prison he getting old, my  sister raised my awareness of the the blog and petition and thank you for the good work you are doing my mother is 97 now and Jason phones her everyday as the likely hood is he will never see her again this is so wrong x


IPP Prisoners face cycle of release and recall.

Inside Time Reports11th December 2020


A growing number of people with Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences are stuck in a cycle of being released and recalled, being released and recalled ove and over ,a report has warned.

Of more than 8,000 people who were handed the indefinite sentences before they were abolished in 2012, there were 1,895 still in prison awaiting their first release as of September. However, this was almost matched by the 1,357 who were back in prison having been released and subsequently recalled.

Researchers from the Prison Reform Trust said the number on recall had almost tripled in five years and was likely to carry on rising due to difficulties faced by people after their release.

The findings, based on interviews with recalled IPP prisoners, probation officers and Parole Board members, pointed to problems including:

Licence conditions which prevent working or rebuilding family ties;

Lack of support from probation officers;

Recall for petty reasons when no further offence has been committed.

Once back in custody, IPP-sentenced prisoners faced difficulties in securing their re-release including not knowing what was required of them.

The report found that many people with IPP sentences suffered mental ill health due to their difficulty in coping with indefinite incarceration, yet felt unable to tell authorities about their difficulties because mental ill health could be cited by probation officers as a risk factor to justify a decision to recall.

One IPP-sentenced person is quoted in the report saying: “So long as I’m under IPP I have no life, no freedom, no future. I fear IPP will force me to commit suicide. I have lost all trust and hope in this justice system… Each day I feel more and more fear and dismay and I am starting to dislike life. . . . I have to suffer in prison in silence. Accept it or suicide. That’s my only options left.”

The report’s title – No Life, No Freedom, No Future – is taken from the quote.

The authors call on the Government to make the abolition of IPP sentences retrospective, with everyone still on one being resentenced. They also say IPP licences should be reviewed, and removed if they no longer needed, five years after a person is first released, rather than 10 years as under the present rules.

In a foreword to the report, Lord Brown of Eaton-Under-Heywood, a Justice of the Supreme Court from 2009 to 2012, states: “I have no hesitation in describing the continuing aftermath of the ill-starred IPP sentencing regime as the greatest single stain on our criminal justice system. As, moreover, this report demonstrates, it grows ever-wider.”

He says of the IPP prisoners still in custody: “Whether detained under their original sentences or recalled … they all now (together with their families) exist in a Kafkaesque world of uncertainty, despair and hopelessness, indefinitely detained unless and until they are able to satisfy the inevitably difficult test of persuading the Parole Board that they can safely be (re)released.”


The Prison and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) has investigated said 56 self-inflicted deaths of  prisoners serving the same sentence in different prisons  IPP sentences. What does that tell you?


Inside times, some cases involving IPP prisoners.


The following case studies highlight examples of these cases.

Case Study A

Mr A, who was 35, received an IPP sentence for robbery with a tariff of two years and nine months. After five years in custody he was released, but three years later he returned to prison when he breached the terms of his licence.

During the three years after his return to prison, he repeatedly told staff he could not cope with his sentence and sought help from healthcare for anxiety. He was often challenging to manage.

Three weeks before he died, Mr A was moved to the segregation unit after he and two other prisoners barricaded themselves in a cell. That evening, Mr A made cuts to his wrist and staff began ACCT procedures. He was assessed by the mental health team, GPs and a psychiatrist. He was offered medication for anxiety and depression but often refused to take it because he said it made him feel worse.

Mr A said his IPP sentence was “killing him” and that he was concerned at plans to recategorise him from category C to B, which he feared would mean a move to a prison further from his family. He repeatedly told staff that he would kill himself after his next visit from his family.

Mr A’s mother visited him a week later. On the same day, he was told he was being recategorised to B. At an ACCT review that afternoon, staff considered that Mr A’s risk of suicide and self-harm had increased but they did not increase the frequency with which he was checked (which remained at once an hour). In the early hours of the next morning, an officer found Mr A hanged in his cell.

Case Study B

Mr B entered custody as a teenager on a short minimum tariff. When he complained to the PPO, he had been in prison for over 10 years. He had recently been recategorised from C to B and transferred to a new prison. He believed these decisions were unfairly impeding his progress.

Mr B believed that returning to his previous prison was important for his release because he had been working well with his therapist and had access to an onsite therapeutic community, a facility his new prison lacked.

Mr B wrote to us about the decision to recategorise and transfer him. Our investigation found that while Mr B had worked hard to reduce his risk of serious harm, we also found evidence of poor behaviour and control issues, and did not uphold this part of his complaint. Further, we agreed that Mr B’s behaviour presented a challenge to the prison and likely had an impact on other prisoners.

We were concerned about the case more broadly, however. While we found that efforts had been made to secure a progressive transfer for Mr B, he was essentially still in prison due to his poor behaviour. We felt that a failure of provision (specifically – the inability to locate Mr B with a therapeutic community and the inability to address his decline in behaviour) were preventing Mr B from making progress. We called for a review of the case and that this review should assess Mr B’s sentence plan and provide further support for progression.

Case Study C

Mr C received an IPP sentence with a tariff of three years. After seven years in custody, the Parole Board recommended a transfer to open conditions to prepare for release. He was recategorized to D and transferred, and was looking forward to proving himself and working towards his release. Later that year, he was approved to begin community work, made eight unescorted visits in the community and completed offending behaviour programmes.

Two days before Mr C’s death, he was accused of assaulting a prisoner and was moved to the segregation unit during the investigation. While there, Mr C was safety screened and assessed, at which point he said he was fine and made no complaints. The following morning, a duty manager visited Mr C and recorded that he seemed in good spirits. That afternoon an officer delivered a letter confirming Mr C was being transferred. It read: ‘It is alleged you assaulted another offender. You are to be moved to closed conditions pending police investigation’. That officer delivering the letter recorded that he took the news well.

Mr C was assessed by staff on arrival in his new prison. They were told he had not self-harmed, did not have a history of depression or thoughts of suicide, and concluded that he was not at risk of suicide. At reception, however, he called his father and said: ‘All right man, it’s coming back here and all that going through the same procedure again, feel like proper locked up again not even getting up’.

That night Mr C was not placed on special monitoring measures as he was found to not be at risk. At morning roll check, he was found hanging with jogging bottoms tied around his neck. Arriving paramedics assessed that he had been dead for some time.

Our investigation found several issues with the management of Mr C’s risk of suicide. During the two days he spent in segregation, he was assessed as not being at risk of suicide. We did not find staff had considered that Mr C’s new circumstances had increased his risk as an IPP prisoner. We also found that on arrival at closed conditions, again staff concluded that Mr C was not at risk of suicide. There was no evidence that staff had considered that Mr C’s transfer might have added considerable time to his sentence.

We recommended that prisons should ensure that all the known risk factors for newly arriving prisoners are fully considered and documented when determining an individual’s risk of suicide and self-harm.

As at September 2019, 2,059 prisoners continue to serve an IPP sentence in custody. We are aware of initiatives in HMPPS to identify, and prioritise, those cases where people are over tariff and not progressing towards release. These include progression units in some prisons and a review of all cases. We will continue to record, and share, the learning from our investigations as it relates to the IPP sentence and its impact on those serving it.


Seeking a reprieve possible?

Would it be possible to get a reprieve from Queen’s to temporarily  prevent the IPP setence from continuing for good.

To have a reprieve would give IPP Prisoners relief from further Mental Harm (especially after being relieved of continued distress)

Has been proved that the Administration of the IPP prisoners sentence caused inmates  suicide. The IPP Sentence no longer exists though people still serve the sentence and continue to go round in circles.

IPP sentence has a shocking Death toll. These MOJ numbers are said to be inaccurate. The total deaths are 215, with 72 of those by suicide. 

Moj figures of  IPP Prisoners Deaths

2005:0     2006:2       200:7

2008:9     2009:7       210:12

2011:14   2012:10     2013:12

2014:19   2015:16     2016:11

2017:26   2018:22     2019: 1?

Total Deaths 167


FOI IPP suicides from the MoJ

205:0         2006:2       2007:4

2008:4       2009:3       2010:3  

Total Deaths:

56 Total 287


 Mental hospitals: data not known. 

A prisoner with severe mental illness has won an appeal against an indefinite jail sentence after a court heard new psychiatric evidence.

Keith Nelson was raped as a child  age 12 and abused in children's' homes.The court heard he tried to kill himself a year later, and spent many years sleeping rough and living in cars.Nelson's mum died in a house fire when he was 15.

However nine years later Nelson remains in Langdon Medium Secure Hospital.

His legal team took his case to the Court of Appeal where they argued far more is known about his mental health than at the time of sentence.

                                                      High Court judge Lord Justice Dingemans

The court heard from Dr David Somekh, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, who said in his opinion Nelson's offending and risk to the public was "entirely attributable" to his mental health disorder.

Dr Somekh, alongside fellow psychiatrists Dr Jonathan Garabette and Dr Mary Linton, agreed that Nelson was best dealt with in the hospital system where he had been a model patient and was responding well to treatment.

However IPP sentences are no longer used by judges over fears that prisoners were left languishing behind bars for years, and sometimes decades, after the minimum recommended term set in court due to  poor administration. 

Lord Dingeman's agreed with the evidence of the experts, concluding in his judgment: "The first concern is that once the appellant gets to a position to be considered for release from hospital he will be sent to prison.

"Such an environment is likely to lead to a relapse of his delusional disorder because he will not take his anti-psychotic medicine, meaning that he will be returned to hospital, before being getting better and being returned again to prison.

"This means that he will "yo-yo" between hospital and prison for the foreseeable for 99 years.

"The second concern is that when finally released from prison the appellant will not be supervised by a team of mental health experts reporting to the hospital and Secretary of State for Justice but instead by a probation officer!!!

Cruel and  unseal  punishment,  life in the  system  playing Russian roulette with a IPP  prisoner life.

"A probation officer will not be trained to spot the subtle signs of mental health deterioration, and if they are identified the probation officer will not have the powers to intervene to arrest any such deterioration.

"This is a matter of particular importance because it is now apparent that the 

appellant will always suffer from some form of mental disorder, but with treatment and effective management and supervision he should progress to live as risk free as is reasonably achievable in society."

The hybrid order was quashed and a new Hospital Order was imposed, meaning that when medical experts deem it safe Nelson can be released under supervision.


Nick Hardwick's Tweet 08 01 2021

Epidemic spreading in prisons. Now in total lockdown. Staff shortages reducing regime further. Not sustainable for a protracted period. Can only be managed if population low enough to allow some regime. Urgent need now for EFFECTIVE early release scheme for low



On 1st January remember how senior @HMPPS staff named as liars and forgers in a devastating 2019 court judgment have kept their jobs, been promoted and bestowed with 'Honours' by an #HonoursList unfit for purpose.


 Dean kingham's Tweet

This week I spoke at Westminster Legal Policy Forum about reforming the Probation Service. I gave some examples of how poor some Probation Officers can be at Parole, but this takes some beating. Absolutely appalling!


Nov 24 to  Dec15

*Does anyone know anyone that has been successful after applying for this 10year or even the 4 year parole suspended! Because I haven’t. My son is an iPP. On his second recall since release in 2016! He know hundreds of ipp and don’t know anyone with success of these?

* It makes me so angry that instead of facing this and changing things they instead choose to leave people to have a life filled with uncertainty and pain. I honestly do not know how these people sleep at night.

*This solicitor has been supposedly representing my partner since August. We’ve had to change solicitors as haven’t been able to get hold of her since 5th December. He received his paper work today and she has done NOTHING! So now my partner is still in prison on recall (12 week custodial sentence) . Could have been out months ago! She hasn’t forwarded any letters we have written to the parole board, she hasn’t put in the appeal that she was meant to do can’t believe someone would do this. My kids are without their Dad for longer than should be and now probably for another few months as he has NO representations

* I pray that my brother is released soon too  its been 13 years for a 4 and a half year tariff

*One of the main recommendations following the publication of the report on the effect of the IPP sentence on families was the need for greater communication between prisons and families.

Given that fact, I would be really interested to find out how many prisons are going in the opposite direction.

In particular, i would be very grateful if you could let me know which prisons prevent you from speaking directly to the chaplaincy unless there is a serious illness or a death in the family. I'm doing some research and may take this further.

Thanks for your help!


*I find most category B prisons are really hard to communicate with,and aren’t very helpful.


*I just got released from 12 and half years on a 2 and half year IPP I got when I was 19. I should of been out when I was 21 but I’m 32 next month. I want say a big thanks to Dean Kingham and Yasmin Karabasic atbSwain and Co who know the IPP inside and out and you wouldn’t want any others representing you. you can’t beat the man who never gives up, never give up and keep going. Again, thanks to all who got me through!


 Lawyer in the news: Aston Luff, Hodge Jones & Allen | Profile | Law Gazette

IPP prisoners face cycle of release and recall – insidetime & insideinformation

Investigating cases involving IPP prisoners | Prisons & Probation Ombudsman (

IPP Prisoners Familys Campaign: Those given IPP setence, the shocking Death toll is a National Scandal. (