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Friday, 20 October 2017

I attended the Investigation  into the Parole  board on the 18th October 2017 .The Justice Committee
was examining the effectiveness of the parole system and the circumstances of people serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP prisoners) see parliament TV link at bottom of page.

Ellie Reeves- Labour on justice ,Victoria Prentis- Conservative on justice committee, Laura Pidock David Hanson and John Howell being a snapshot.

 Sam Gyimah Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice.

I asked both Nick and Martin what they thought would put an end to the IPP finally? Both said a change in policy.

Left Martin Jones , Nick Hardwick and Katherine Gleeson

Following up the National Audit Office’s February 2017 report Investigation into the Parole Board, the Committee will be asking about measures taken by the Parole Board and the Ministry of Justice to improve the effectiveness of the Board and the parole system which it administers.The Committee will also be asking about the particular circumstances of people serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP prisoners) who have served more than their tariff, and about steps which the Parole Board and the Ministry have taken, and could take in the future, to address their situation. wirnesses
Professor Nick Hardwick, Chair, and Martin Jones, Chief Executive, Parole Board of England and WalesSam Gyimah MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation, Ministry of Justice.

Notations taken on the day  

First i have to say it was frustrating I felt  the panel could of ask more pressing questions so I would urge families and the public to write to the committee  and ask them to  consider further  question you want the committee to ask the parole board. Ive  heard the Committee  don’t examine personal cases but will consider question that can be put to the enquiry.  

The panel asked Nick Hardwick when you have problems do you share them with Minsters?  Nick Hardwick said often. I had spoken to David Langton, Sam Gyimah the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice.
The panel called in witness Sam Gyimah he said he had good relations with Nick Hardwick and Martin Jones. The panel asked have you ever spoken to nick Hardwick on the problems? no he said.    Panel asked Sam Gyimah how much you gave to parole board? He said depends on what they need, we gave to million to train new members. 16-8 million we have responded to parole board’s needs.  Parole board said a further millions of public money went on compensation for delays. The panel said this was too high how do we get this downThe parole board said get faster hearings and working speedily with other agencies.
Parole also mention that the prisons can’t get reports together but they have an action plan in place.
Panel said is there a time scale? um, referee to  minutes of meeting.  Sam Gyima was asked for figures which he did not have. Sam Gyimah did not seem to be with it he must of know what the panel would ask for figures yet he did not have them?
 The panel  him would you agree a bill will sort out all the  problem with the IPP? Sam Gyimah reply's this would be complicated and take too long but could be considered.

Parole board Figures 3.300 IPP prisoners. Released this year 500 hope for another 500 by the end of this year. Recall 500 cases waiting for a hearing. The said to parole board 520 cases last year 204 cases this year you’re a fault for some of this can you do better?
Parole board we have been at fault for some of this and we need to improve.
The panel asked the parole if you were fully efficient system what the rate would be Marin jones reply’s 20% Hardwick disagreed because the report want be significant enough half the cases referred because of cases not written up by offender mangers. 
The panel said that not good enough situation how you going about tackling that problem? Parole board said making sure when asked for a report it is going to add value to their case. To know about the delay in time. Not waiting for third party to come up with the goods. We are working with 6 prisons at the moment how to get sufficiency in the system.  key reasons for delays:, resources, staff member no longer in posts, not enough psychologist, technology ,staff not doing there work, access to programs , critical of ROTAL

Probation said they will try to get it the figures down 1,500 by 2020 but this depends on the facilities? The panel said why did you take too long to recruit staff members? Parole board said we have a recruitment drive 2016 he mention some members where not doing as much as they should. They were going to have a better monitoring of members moving to a system of monitory. We will also look the impact of mental health on staff. 

The panel said delays and litigations how you see that per portion. Damages they have sorn up millions of pounds this year in compensation a proportion of the expenditure. One panel member cut In surely you can simplify compensation so that prisoners don’t need solicitors, why not make the area more transparent.
·         Mentioned, prisoner were  50% 5- 8years or more over tariff
·         That a IPP progression unit has been set up to progress.

·        Mentioned, shortish of psychologist the area is not working. 
 panel asked Sam Gyima for figures who couldn't give them and said he would forward the figures at a lather date.
·         Mentioned was the complexes of needs.
·        Mentioned was the differcuties with the licence conditions and that probation should look at the thresh hold of recall as we don’t want a revolving door.
·         50% recall
·         Released 42 0n paper progress figures is said to be 75%
·       Said was too much reliance was put on agency’s probation had to form a new relationship with other agency.
Personally the goal post of dates seem to be changing that’s a red flag!

Watch on the Investigation into the Parole board

Ford Seemed to me Hardwick doing his best to say probation is benighted, but politely because he has to work with them, some committee members asking incisive questions then allowing themselves to be fobbed of by that crass prisons .minister on IPP: "It's the law", but a bad law doesn't stop being a bad law because nobody prepared to do anything about it - not only is this callous man content to leave men in prison for 10 years+ followed by 10 years on licence, by which time their life is blighted, but seems to think the outrageous number of recalls is acceptable, the MoJ itself putting as a reason failure to remain in contact, so not seeing your 'offender manager' looks the equivalent of a criminal offence so back to jail you go, as if there wasn't enough cause for despair already. No wonder 50% of IPPs mutilate or kill themselves. Probation have too much power, ministers couldn't care less so this was a useless talking shop that will change nothing for those holding on to sanity while important people talk about 'risk 'which can't be measured, courses which even MoJ says are discredited and a prison system bursting at the seams because it's easier to live with Ken Clarke's "stain on the justice system" than have the inconvenience of doing anything about it - no wonder politicians are held in such contempt
 Milton spot on Mike I thought Nick Hardwick and Martin Jones were totally plausible totally focused on what their aims were and how they were going to achieve them and like you I also felt they were laying the problem with the recalls firmly at probation services door.
Sam gyimah keep repeating "lawful sentence" was ridiculous we all know it was a lawful sentence when it was given but it's not a lawful sentence now so the question is "what are you going to do about it now " because it's not going away any time soon and he didn't have any acceptable answer typical politician who doesn't realise these are not just facts and figures these are real people with real lives .
 Ford I think he would argue it's lawful because tho. abolished 2012, not retrospectively, so still lawful for those locked up before that, which produces the despicable situation that if one committed a similar offence now the punishment might be 18 months . I think he would argue it's lawful because tho. abolished 2012, not retrospectively, so still lawful for those locked up before that, which produces the despicable situation that if one committed a similar offence now the punishment might be 18 months and that's it, but same thing in 2008 for example, you have an indeterminate sentence and the possibility of seeing people in for the same kind of offence come and go while you stay inside for years and years in a concrete box for up to 23 hours a day -, this is a circle they don't want to square because it doesn't affect them and I imagine are too lazy to be bothered, yet are supposed to be representing 'Justice'. Hypocrites
Milton how it's acceptable to abolish a sentence that breeches human rights and not do anything respectively is beyond me.
if you create a problem such as IPP you should have a duty to clear up the legacy left behind not just ignore it and hope it will quietly go away on its own because it won't and real people's lives are being wasted and sadly lost because of it.

Dame Stacey response to a Family of an IPP prisoner. The letter lacked transparency and did not answer the question.

21 Septermber  2017 Letter from an IPP family to Dame Stacey inspecter of probation.


 Justice Committee examines work of the Parole Board

IPP prisoner may “require” that his case should be referred to the Parole Board, ... to levels consistent with release into the community ...

serving public protection sentences

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