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Imprisonment for Public Protection

Volume 630: debated on Tuesday 31 October 2017

16. What progress he is making on reviewing cases of prisoners serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection. (901527)

We are making good progress in helping IPP prisoners to progress to eventual release. We have implemented measures such as individual psychology-led case reviews, increased access to offending behaviour programmes and we are increasing places on progression regimes, with an additional three regimes planned to come online at the end of March 2018.

On 18 October, the Select Committee on Justice heard that 760 released IPP prisoners were recalled in the past year, but 60% of those were quickly re-released. Does the Minister agree with the chair of the Parole Board that the threshold for recall is too low and should be reviewed to stop the revolving door for prisoners who have already long served their minimum tariff?

I do not agree that the threshold is too low. When an IPP prisoner is recalled, it is not because they were found, for example, hiding under their mother’s bed. It is often because there is a clear causal link to the behaviour exhibited at the time of the index offence. Our duty is to keep the public safe. Where there is any signal or any cause for concern, it is right that such prisoners are recalled into custody. However, the national probation service is working on a programme to help IPPs when they are released into the community to transition into the community and to reduce the incidence of recall in a way that protects the public, but also allows IPPs to rebuild their lives.