National Probation Service for England and Wales

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 27th April 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Burt of Solihull Baroness Burt of Solihull Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many progression panels have been established in each National Probation Service division in each year since June 2019.

Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Conservative

The IPP Action Plan is regularly reviewed to ensure that it is responsive to the needs of those serving IPP sentences, whether in prison or in the community. A large number of IPP prisoners have been released each year since the IPP Action Plan was first introduced in 2016, and the Plan will be refreshed, reviewed and republished after careful consideration of the forthcoming Justice Select Committee’s Report and recommendations.

The Public Protection Casework Section in HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) HQ has implemented active case management, which is directed towards ensuring that probation and prison staff comply with directions from Parole Board Panels in a timely fashion.

Best practice ideals, based on an initiative that started in prisons in the East of England Region, were developed and rolled out for use in a number of prisons prior to the pandemic. The roll out was then unavoidably disrupted by the exceptional delivery models which had to be implemented on the grounds of public health. Progress of the best practice ideals will be reviewed as part of the wider action plan following consideration of the Justice Select Committee’s report and recommendations.

Offenders subject to IPP sentences are eligible for electronic monitoring following release on licence, where considered necessary and proportionate by the Parole Board. The additional investment of £183m in the expansion of electronic monitoring will also increase the availability of electronic monitoring for IPP offenders. Those whose risk is linked to alcohol are eligible for alcohol monitoring on licence, which was introduced in Wales in November and will be rolled out to England this summer. IPP releases will also be eligible for a project targeting high-risk domestic abuse perpetrators, where they will have their whereabouts monitored using GPS tags to protect victims, and potential future victims, from further trauma. The project will begin in 2023 and we expect to tag around 3,500 offenders.

HM Prison and Probation Service has developed a dataset and data dashboard, which is shared on a quarterly basis with Probation Regions and Prison Groups to support them in their efforts to monitor and manage their IPP populations, both in prisons and the community. The dashboard is still evolving and kept under review, as we identify new ways to capture additional key management information and present it in such a way as to be the most helpful to the operational line.

The following table shows the number of progression panels (lifers and IPPs) that have taken place in each Probation region by year since June 2019*: During the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with measures mandated in the interests of public health, HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) implemented exceptional delivery models which inevitably had some impact on all operational work.

Probation Region

The number of progression panels held (Lifers and IPPs)

01/06/2019 to 31/12/2019

2020

2021

01/01/2022 to 22/03/2022

Total

East Midlands Region

114

466

241

23

844

East of England

224

715

554

107

1,600

Greater Manchester

294

472

291

36

1,093

Kent Surrey Sussex Region

129

529

426

79

1,163

London

236

551

629

134

1,550

National Security Division

-

*

4

*

9

North East Region

117

423

196

33

769

North West Region

298

710

447

85

1,540

South Central

156

271

328

79

834

South West

111

469

197

137

914

Wales

174

197

150

16

537

West Midlands Region

304

868

522

126

1,820

Yorkshire and The Humber

170

635

422

72

1,299

Unknown Region

3

*

-

*

16

Total

2,330

6,322

4,407

929

13,988

*Notes:

1. Panels without a recorded outcome (from the point that an outcome was required to be recorded) were assumed to not have taken place.

2. Due to probation restructures in 2020 and 2021, a small number of panels could not be assigned to a region. These are recorded as 'Unknown Region'.

3. Disclosure control. An asterisk (*) has been used to suppress values of one or two. This is to prevent the disclosure of individual information. Further disclosure control may be completed where this alone is not sufficient.

4. Data sources and quality. The figures in these tables have been drawn from the Probation Case Management System, National Delius administrative, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

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