Prisoners: Imprisonment for Public Protection - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:18 pm on 1 March 2023.

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Photo of Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood Chair, Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct, Chair, Sub-Committee on Lords' Conduct 3:18, 1 March 2023

Recognising the need for public protection, my question relates to the IPP prisoners who are now detained for 10, 12 or 14 years beyond their tariff terms—that is, beyond the punishment they deserve for their offending—because they cannot prove to the Parole Board that they can be released without any risk of reoffending. It is a proof which the noble Lord, Lord Clarke of Nottingham, when he abolished this sentence in 2012, described as “almost impossible”. Do the Government think that is just? If so, will they continue to think it just, however many years may pass—after 15, 20 or 25 years—or do they recognise that there will come a point when it is unjust? If so, when?