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Prisoners: Sentencing

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners are on indeterminate sentences for public protection with tariffs of (a) less than three years, (b) between three and five years, (c) between five and 10 years and (d) more than 10 years. (150497)

Figures relating to the lengths of tariffs on prisoners serving indeterminate sentences in all prison establishments in England and Wales as at the end of March 2006 can be found in the following table:

Number of IPPs by length of tariff

Months

Total

1-18

147

19-36

326

37-48

107

49-60

46

61-120

53

121+

4

Not recorded

24

Total

706

This table is taken from table 11.2 in the offender management caseload statistics 2005, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons Library.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to review the operation of indeterminate sentences for public protection; and if he will make a statement. (150499)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prisoners on indeterminate sentences for public protection have been released after serving more than their minimum tariff; and in how many of those cases the assessment of their danger to the public was carried out (a) before and (b) after completion of their minimum tariff; (150502)

(2) how many prisoners on indeterminate sentences for public protection have been released since 2004; and how many had served (a) less than one year, (b) between one and two years, (c) between two and three years and (d) more than three years;

(3) how many prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection released on licence have (a) been returned to prison and (b) been convicted for offences while on licence.

No prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence may be considered for release until they have completed their tariff—that is, the period of imprisonment considered necessary to meet the requirements of retribution and deterrence. The Parole Board may direct a tariff-expired indeterminate sentence prisoner's release only if it is satisfied that it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that the prisoner should be confined.

As at 16 July 2007, seven prisoners serving indeterminate sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) have been released on the direction of the Parole Board. Six of these offenders were released after the tariff period had expired. In each of these cases, the Parole Board hearing to assess the offender’s risk of harm took place after the relevant tariff expiry date. In the seventh case, the prisoner was released before tariff-expiry on compassionate grounds due to ill health and has since died.

Two of the six offenders had their sentences quashed following their release. Of the remaining four, none has been recalled to custody or been convicted of any further offences.

The following table shows the time served in custody before release in the six cases referred to above:

Time served

Number of cases

Less than 1 year

2

1-2 years

4

2-3 years

0

More than 3 years

0