Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th April 2022.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to prisoners serving Imprisonment for public protection sentences.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of calls to retroactively abolish imprisonment for public protection sentences on a case-by-case basis.
The Government’s long held view is that retrospectively abolishing the IPP sentence would give rise to an unacceptable risk to public protection as it could result in the immediate release of many offenders who have been assessed as unsafe for release by the Parole Board.
Our primary responsibility is to protect the public, however, HMPPS remains committed to safely reducing the number of prisoners serving IPP sentences in custody. The IPP Action Plan, which is regularly reviewed and refreshed to ensure it targets activity in the right areas, remains the best means of achieving this. HMPPS continue to support all those still serving IPP sentences in custody by providing them with opportunities to show they can be safely released by the Parole Board and to help those serving the IPP sentence on licence in the community to work towards having their licence terminated.
The Action Plan is working. As of 31st December 2021, there were 1,602 IPP prisoners who have never been released (whether because the offender has not yet served the minimum term of imprisonment or because the independent Parole Board has determined that their risk remains too high for them to be safely managed in the community). This marks significant progress as there were over 6,000 people in custody serving an IPP sentence at the peak.
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