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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A letter to Chief Inspector of Probation, Dame Glenys Stacey. The IPP Prisoners nightmare that never seems to end.

Pressure should be put on the government  regarding the IPP,   pressure should be put directly on probation services who are the ones that actively obstruct the release of IPP prisoners with their recommendations upon a parole hearing and it's high time that Probation Officers were held to account.

I would encourage everyone to start writing to the Chief Inspector of Probation Dame Glenys Stacey with their grievances at the address below. 

HM Inspectorate of Probation
1st Floor
Manchester Civil Justice Centre
1 Bridge Street West

Manchester M3 3FX

Or email


Dear Dame Stacey

As Chief Inspector of Probation Services you cannot be ignorant to the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) law that Probation Services have to abide too.  Yet other authorities as well as charitable organisations speak out about their just findings of how inhumane this IPP law is in keeping prisoners indeterminately detained past their tariff or sentence e.g Nick Hardwick / Parole Board,  Peter Clarke / Prisons,  Francis Cook / Howard League for Penal Reform.  As Chief Inspector of Probation of which Probation Services have a direct impact on the plight of IPP prisoners due to their reports and recommendations upon a Parole Hearing whether the IPP prisoner should be released or not, it is very noticeable that you have not publicly expressed any direct concerns what so ever that you may have over this IPP law or the role or position of Probation Officers and their decision making specific to IPP prisoners. 

I would therefore be grateful if you could answer the following questions in the interests of the general public of whose tax payers money funds Probation Services either directly as a public sector organisation or indirectly in the privatised sectors of probation:

 - Do you have any concerns over this IPP law and its effect on Probation Services i.e. the very minimum 10 year licence conditions if not 99 years which undoubtedly will put a strain on probation services in the community and if so why do you not publicly raise your concerns with the government over the IPP law and it's licence conditions?  I also understand that at the discretion of the Probation Officer that after 4 years the licence conditions can be suspended.  How many Probation Officers have actually used this discretion?

- What are the statistics (which should be for public knowledge) under the Freedom of Information Act where Probation Officers have refused / not recommended the release of IPP prisoners post tariff at their parole hearings and how many times upon subsequent parole hearings have Probation Officers continued to refuse the release of the prisoner?  Also I would like information to be provided on what grounds was release not recommended?

- Likewise under the Freedom of Information Act what are your statistics where Probation Officers have refused / not recommended the release of IPP prisoners upon a parole hearing following the recall of an IPP on licence detained back again in prison?  Again I would like you to provide information on their grounds for non release.

- What are the statistics of Probation Officers recalling an IPP on licence back to prison and on what grounds?  If you can be specific if this was a missed appointment, relapse of drug taking etc or based on reports from other sources.  How many IPP on licence were recalled back to prison for actually having committed or charged with a convictable criminal offence as oppose to a breach of their licence conditions?

- Do you have markers / indicators as to which Probation Offices / Officers are the most culpable for not recommending the release of IPP prisoners and if so should this not be investigated as to why there may be continued obstruction of their release?

- Do the Probation services recognise the very negative psychological and adverse effect of being held indeterminately in prison in such a volatile environment whereby there is increased violence, self-harm, suicide and an uncontrollable drug culture with more drug problems on the inside within a prison than the outside in society which is fully evidenced by statistics and inspectorate reports on prisons and if so why are Probation Officers not recommending IPP releases and exploring opportunities in the community as the primary options but keeping IPP prisoners detained in such an adverse environment whereby anybody with one ounce of common sense, logic or any psychological understanding of human nature will know that it is impossible for an offender to be rehabilitated in such a false environment of which it is the role of the Probation Officer to aid rehabilitation and to reduce the risk of re-offending. The only way to truly prove and to reduce the risk of re-offending is for a prisoner to be released and integrated back into society whereby they are ample support services in the community to aid rehabilitation such as counselling or alcohol / drug support services and psychiatric services if required and in many cases support from families and friends and for Probation Services not to recognise this and to keep a person detained based on the premise that they are at the risk of reoffending is an ineffective use of public sector money and resources let alone is against humanity once a person has served their time / tariff.  

- What tools are Probation Services using to assess that a person is at risk of re-offending in their Offender Assessment System (OASys) reports and that they are not assessed as safe to be released in the interests of public protection because it is impossible to assess the risk in such a pseudo, confined, volatile environment of a prison which does not reflect on how one might behave in the outside world?  In reality Probation Officers / Offender Management Officers barely see the prisoner once imprisoned, ignore any positive reports and focus on negative behaviour without factoring in their adverse environment that a prisoner has to survive in and rely on psychological reports and the excuse that they have to complete offending behaviour management courses which even Sam Gyimah (Under secretary to the Justice Secretary) states

"It is important to remember that it is not mandatory for Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners (ISPs) to complete accredited offending behaviour programmes in order to achieve release.  Accredited offending behaviour programmes are only one of the interventions available to help reduce prisoners' risks.  Other options may include work and employment; education and training; one to one work with psychologists or Offender Supervisors; or non-accredited offending behaviour programmes. It should be borne in mind that completion of an accredited programme is no guarantee that risk has been reduced".  

This statement reinforces that it is not possible to deem a person's risk of re-offending when incarcerated even stating that an accredited programme is no guarantee that risk has been reduced and therefore there is not such the need or emphasis for a prisoner to have to have completed such programmes and all of these deemed options to reduce risk are actually obtainable on the outside so why are Probation Officers' recommending keeping a prisoner incarcerated and not released where there is greater opportunities to achieve rehabilitation back into society and reduce any risk of reoffending away from such an adverse and damaging environment.  Surely any Probation Officer can see that by keeping a person detained in prison is not effective to the prisoner or society with now such overcrowding in prisons that it is at crisis level and the longer a person is incarcerated the more negative effect it will have on the prisoner. 

- How much of your Probation Inspectorate reports takes into consideration the recipients / IPP prisoners experience of their Probation Officers / Offender Management Unit Officers attitude, conduct and reliability? Are such surveys carried out for such IPP prisoners?  I maintain that any Probation Officer interviews should be recorded on behalf of the Probation Officer and the Prisoner / Prisoner on license just as police interviews are now recorded for transparency reasons.

Probation Officers should be named and shamed for upholding this IPP law because of their recommendations continuing to keep prisoners detained in effect years after their spent tariff based on the individual ignorance of the Probation Officer because of their failings to recognise the adverse psychological effect of the prison environment in their assessment for release as well as the misuse of resources by using the prison as a source to continue with any further support services required rather than resources in the community.
If a Probation Officers job was done correctly then they should have monitored and ensured that any recommended courses, training and employment that they have assessed as needed should have already been completed by the time of the Parole Hearing and if these weren't available then alternative options given. This is an absolute disgrace and failure of Probation Officers not to ensure that there is a realistic achievable assessment plan for a prisoner to complete prior to their Parole Hearing and  upon a Parole Hearing to then hold it against the prisoner if an assessment plan was not achievable as it was out of the prisoner's control or not even given in the first place and to recommend detaining a prison further to despite the years they have already spent in prison because they need to do this or that  and ignoring the options and support services that are available in the community and prolonging imprisonment even longer is a misuse of tax payers money and an absolute abuse of their power and position . 
 It appears that a Probation Officer will do anything to keep an IPP prisoner incarcerated but to not to get them out with their rigid, unrealistic, biased and fixed mind-set and will pass the book back to the prison service to provide services once their tariff has expired of which the prisons should only be utilised to detain a prisoner for their convicted period / tariff.  Out of sight, out of mind and off their caseloads!. Individual stories about Probation Officers will illustrate the frightening conduct, attitude  and decision making of Probation Officers of which I could give you a personal example in relation to a friend of mine currently detained following a recall under an IPP and that it is about time that Probation Services and Officers are held to account and their practice addressed for upholding the inhumane continued incarceration of IPP prisoners post tariff or following a recall because of their recommendations. 

Nick Hardwick has addressed the issue of delayed / back log of parole hearings.  What action are you doing such as advice to Probation Services / Officers on how to resolve the crisis of thousands of IPP prisoners being held years over tariff and the Probation Officers' assessment methods and mode of thinking?

No doubt your statistics will transparently illustrate that Probation Services are actively hindering the release of IPP prisoners very harrowingly so with individual cases now being publicised on news reports, documentaries and media sites of how prisoners have been detained and languishing in prison for years over tariff. I acknowledge that Probation Services may be under resourced but this is no excuse to keep an IPP prisoner in a prolonged detrimental existence in prison post tariff or following a recall because of their recommendations in their so called assessment of risk of re-offending rather than being rehabilitated, monitored and any support services being provided in the community  or indeed for a Probation Officer to so easily and readily to recall an IPP prisoner back to prison and held indeterminately again when no actual convictable crime has been committed.  You cannot be ignorant to the practice and recommendations of Probation Officers in relation to the IPP prisoners.
I shall look forward to your response in anticipation.

Yours sincerely.

"I will keep you updated on the response. If you have any  reply's I would like here from you."

David Lidington
 Ministry of no justice

When David Lidington  was appointed  Secretary of State for Justice he said : I look forward to working our prisons and probation services and with people right across the justice system to ensure that justice is fair and defended?  IPP prisoner are still incarcerated and over tariff  some 9 years, is not  fairness or is it justified?  IPP prisoners are not being defended.

Justice Ministers and the Government agency are fully responsible for the failings

The IPP situation does not lie with prisoners and It has nothing to do with risk but every thing do with government mistakes: Not applying  the courses, not keeping data, deprived funding, lack of prison staff and parole moreover understanding job roles, out of date MPs, Incompetent justice Ministers and flaws in the Minatory of justice. to represent the interest of prisoners in the name of justice and government failing to act in a reasonable time, causing deaths.
How lomg is the government just going to keep sweeping this under the table ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

 By Ayisha

To Nick Hardwick Head of Parole Board and Justice Secretary.

I've known an IPP prisoner 4 years now he was recalled back to prison before he was recalled by police officers entering his flat without a warrant once they entered his home they beat him up to the point he was knock unconscious and went into hospital for two weeks his kidney failure and was sent to another hospital for treatment then sent back into jail he went to court 6 months later he was found not guilty on the recall 3 years later he still in custody he has a IPP sentence and served his time for this which was only 18 months but did 5 years and was release we are now fighting for his freedom as he was recalled on no grounds and this inhumane treatment he hasn't done nothing wrong and the parole board need to release him. I've now see a broken man not knowing when he will be released he has lost all hope in life doesn't everyone deserve a life to life he has missed 3 years of his life and his daughter cry's each day just to have him home. He did his sentence and more  everyone deserved to have a second chance why do the parole keep a innocent man in jail for so long? We need to fight for him   to give him hope .He will never have his life back we need to speak out about this injustice in the UK behind bars for years and years many that take their lives, do we really want more men and women taking their life's as they have no hope left no way out as this system. Its torture for the prisoners and the families of theses IPP prisoners. let's open our hearts and help them get some hope  let them live their lives once again. His human rights have been stripped away from him and everyone has a right to their human rights, let's fight for there rights and not sit in silents no more. Thank u for taking your time in reading this may you all find a place in your heart to to make a difference.

By JezIts

A nightmare that never seems to end.
But for the prisoner it never ends until they have been out long enough and had the supervision removed. That's why they are helpless and at the mercy of the government. That's why we should always remember that we are fighting a just cause and we must not stop until this unjust sentence is removed retrospectively. It's as close to torture in law as you can get and I believe in this current prison crisis it has now crossed the legal threshold for being a sentence that causes extreme distress and a feeling of hopelessness which leads to trauma. We need some brave human right barristers to push this mess onto the desk of the government to act and remove it. I feel we are closer now than we ever have been. This sentence degrades our society. Keeping people locked up because a piece of software says they might be a danger is a total nonsense. Inexcusable persistent persecution. How can someone move forward with their life, how can a family move forward. This sentence needs eradicating retrospectively. It only creates more victims
 Richard Huxley.was given a 17 month IPP some 11 years ago and today he is still inside

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