Prison Sentences

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 25 April 2022.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment his Department has made of steps to re-sentence prisoners currently serving a sentence of Imprisonment for public protection.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice, Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The Government keeps the operation of sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) under constant review. This includes continuing to ensure that IPP prisoners, as well as all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, have every opportunity to progress towards safe release. This approach is working, with high numbers of unreleased IPP prisoners achieving a release decision each year. The number of IPP prisoners who have never been released stood at 1,602 on 31 December 2021, down from over 6,000 at its peak.

This Government has brought forward an amendment relating to IPP licence terminations as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill, which is currently before Parliament. IPP offenders are eligible for Parole Board consideration of whether their IPP licence should be terminated, once 10 years has elapsed since their first release. Note that time spent in prison following recall under the IPP licence does not affect the calculation of the 10 year qualifying period.

The Bill will require the Secretary of State to refer all eligible IPP offenders to the Parole Board for consideration of licence termination. This will ensure that eligible IPP offenders have every opportunity to have their licence terminated.

The Government welcomes the Justice Select Committee inquiry into the IPP sentence and will carefully consider the recommendations in the final report.

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