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Prison Sentences

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) men and (b) women aged (i) under 18 years, (ii) 18 to 20 years and (iii) 21 years and over were serving indeterminate sentences for public protection on the latest date for which figures are available. (271975)

The following table gives the numbers of prisoners serving indeterminate sentences for public protection on 24 April 2009. The table includes those subject to imprisonment for public protection (IPP) and young prisoners subject to detention for public protection (DPP). The table also includes the 104 offenders of this type who are located in a secure psychiatric hospital.

Serving IPPs and DPPs on 24 April 2009

Age range

(a) Men

(b) Women


(i) Under 18 years


1Fewer than 5


(ii) 18 to 20 years


1Fewer than 5


(iii) 21 years and over






1 We have withheld exact numbers because to provide the information at this level could identify individuals.

These figures were drawn from the NOMS IPP database. The database is updated every other month, based on data provided by establishments. As with any large scale recording system, the database is subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Changes introduced by the CJIA 2008 included a minimum tariff of two years below which IPPs cannot be given, except where offenders have committed extremely serious crimes in the past.

These changes will ensure better use of the all the sentences available to the courts.

In January 2008, a new streamlined process was introduced for assessing and managing IPP offenders through the implementation of offender management for IPPs. The new process will ensure that appropriate sentence plans are drawn up and implemented for offenders, without undermining public protection.