To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the answer of 4 December to Question 116620, how many of the 2,718 prisoners serving Imprisonment Public Protection sentences who have passed their minimum tariff period have parole hearings scheduled for the next six months; and will he make a statement.
In my evidence to the Justice Select Committee, on 18 October, I outlined the work that Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) was undertaking to provide as many opportunities for IPP prisoners to progress to safe release as soon as possible. This includes giving IPP prisoners the support, opportunities and motivation they need to progress more quickly.
We are also working towards opening three new IPP Progression Regimes that build on the success of the one at HMP Warren Hill, which is providing opportunities for IPP prisoners to reduce their risk where they have struggled to do so previously. HMPPS is targeting those who have had two or more unsuccessful parole hearings and carrying out psychology-led case reviews to identify new approaches to improve the prospects of achieving progression.
The Parole Board is also committed to progressing IPP prisoners towards release by providing IPP prisoners with timely access to parole reviews. Already this year the numbers of IPP prisoners has reduced from 3,528 to 3,162.
Of the 2,718 IPP prisoners - who have passed their minimum tariff period - 746 have oral hearings scheduled during the period 1 December 2017 - 31 March 2018.
The Parole Board - which is listing more cases than ever - lists cases three months in advance and I expect that further oral hearings for IPP prisoners will be listed during the next six months. The Parole Board’s aim is that IPP prisoners should be released - if it is safe to do so - or have clear plans in place that will enable them to progress.