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Prisoners: Life Sentences

House of Lords written question – answered on 8th May 2008.

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Photo of Baroness Stern Baroness Stern Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many life sentence and indeterminate public protection sentence prisoners were held in Leeds Prison on 23 April; and what arrangements they are making for these prisoners to have access to the courses necessary to prepare them to apply for parole.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

On the 23 April, there were 34 life sentence prisoners and 72 indeterminate public protection sentence prisoners in custody in Leeds prison.

Leeds provides a short duration drug programme, which is focused on drug harm minimisation and is a first step of intervention which will indicate what appropriate services prisoners will need.

Following the implementation of the recommendations of a strategic review of the service and systems for lifers and IPPs, and the introduction of new streamlined case management procedures, the management of these prisoners has improved considerably. Prison staff are under instructions to prioritise indeterminate sentence prisoners with short tariffs and move them as quickly as possible to establishments where their offending behaviour needs can be addressed. Recently, movement has accelerated significantly.

In coming to a view on whether to direct the release of an offender, the Parole Board will take account of all relevant information, not just whether the offender has completed any offending behaviour programmes. It is for the offender to demonstrate to the Parole Board that the risk of harm he presents has been reduced to the extent that he may be released safely to supervision in the community.

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