Prison Sentences

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 23 June 2022.

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Photo of Jessica Morden Jessica Morden Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee), Chair, Statutory Instruments (Select Committee), Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of converting existing Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences into determinate sentences and allow IPP prisoners to be released on licence for a period commensurate with their original minimum tariff.

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

The Government’s long held view is that retrospectively abolishing the IPP sentence would give rise to an unacceptable risk to public protection. Converting IPP prisoners into determinate sentence prisoners, even with a potentially lengthy licence period, would mean that many potentially dangerous offenders would be immediately released into the community with no prior risk assessment.

Our primary responsibility is to protect the public. HMPPS remains committed to safely reducing the number of prisoners serving IPP sentences in custody by providing them with every opportunity to progress towards safe release by the Parole Board.

The IPP Action Plan remains the best way of achieving this and it is working. The number of IPP prisoners who have never been released stood at 1,554 in March 2022, down from over 6,000 at its peak.

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