Prison Sentences

Ministry of Justice written question – answered at on 2 October 2023.

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Photo of Lord Woodley Lord Woodley Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government how many prisoners currently serving an Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence have served more than (1) 5, (2) 10, or (3) 15, years over their original tariff.

Photo of Lord Woodley Lord Woodley Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government how many prisoners serving an Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence have (1) died, (2) been transferred to secure hospitals, or (3) been sent to another country under the Tariff-Expired Removal Scheme, in each of the past 10 years.

Photo of Lord Bellamy Lord Bellamy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

It falls to the Parole Board to determine whether the statutory release test is met when it reviews the case of a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and the prisoner has served in full the minimum term of imprisonment, set by the Court for the purposes of retribution and deterrence. Therefore, those serving an IPP sentence will only be released where the Board assesses that they may be safely managed in the community on licence and supervised by the Probation Service. We have already reduced the number of IPP prisoners by three-quarters since we scrapped the sentence in 2012, and we continue to help those still in custody to progress towards release.

The table below provides the breakdown of those prisoners who have served 5 ,10, and 15 years over their original tariff, correct as at 30 June this year.

Table 1. Tariff-expired unreleased IPP prisoner population

Time over tariff

Total

5 years or more

1,140

10 years or more

662

15 years or more

67

1. Tariff length is the time between date of sentence and tariff expiry date and does not take into account any time served on remand.

2. Rows do not include the total from the preceding row

3. Figures include only unreleased IPP population.

The tables below provide a breakdown of the number of prisoners who have died, been transferred to secure hospitals under the Mental Health Act 1983, or have been approved for removal to another country under Tariff-Expired Removal Scheme (TERS) in the past 10 years.

The Ministry of Justice processes applications for transfer to another country under TERS; however, it does not manage or routinely record the actual removals of offenders, which is the responsibility of the Home Office. As a result, we have provided in Table 4 the number of approved applications for transfer under TERS.

Table 2. Number of deaths of IPP prisoners, 2013-2022

Year

Count

2013

12

2014

21

2015

21

2016

13

2017

24

2018

22

2019

12

2020

17

2021

20

2022

20

4. Figures include death by homicide, natural causes, self-inflicted and other/non-natural for the unreleased and recalled IPP population.

5. Figures are derived from the HMPPS Deaths in Prison Custody database. As classification of deaths may change following inquest or as new information emerges, numbers may change from time to time.

6. Figures include incidents at HMPPS run Immigration Removal Centres and during contracted out escorts.

7. Figures do not include incidents at Medway STC. For more information on Secure Training Centres, please see Youth justice annual statistics at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/youth-justice-annual-statistics.

Table 3. Number of IPP offenders transferred from prison to secure hospital under section 47 of the Mental Health Act, 2013-2022

Year

Count

2013

87

2014

86

2015

72

2016

60

2017

59

2018

63

2019

59

2020

54

2021

37

2022

44

8. Mentally disordered offenders can be transferred to psychiatric hospital for treatment and can be kept in varying levels of security (including to psychiatric intensive care units, which are not categorised as ‘secure’). These figures show MHA transfers to secure units. Figures may contain duplicates as an offender can be transferred more than once across the years. However, within each year, only one transfer for an offender is counted.

Table 4. Approvals for transfer of IPP offenders to another country under the Tariff-Expired Removal Scheme, 2013-2022

Year

Approvals

2013

63

2014

51

2015

33

2016

30

2017

15

2018

18

2019

11

2020

11

2021

3

2022

1

9. Figures provided relate to the number of approvals of TERS applications in each of the last 10 years. The number of approvals may not match the number of actual removals.

Note:

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that this data has been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by HM Prison & Probation Service. Consequently, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

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