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Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection

Volume 730: debated on Thursday 30 March 2023

7. What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the effectiveness of ongoing sentences of imprisonment for public protection. (904400)

The Attorney General and I meet the Secretary of State for Justice regularly and discuss numerous issues. Where they touch on legal issues and advice, the hon. Lady will know, and will have heard the Attorney General clearly set out, that the Law Officers’ convention applies.

Imprisonment for public protection sentences were abolished in 2012, but that did not apply retrospectively. A constituent of mine whose son is serving an IPP sentence dating from before then has told me how this causes continued uncertainty and disruption for the whole family, and concern about their son’s mental health deteriorating. Can the Minister commit to working to reach a consensus on how best to address these long-standing IPP cases?

The hon. Lady raises a very serious point, and I am grateful to her. IPP sentences were first introduced in 2003, and she is right that they were abolished in 2012, but not retrospectively, nor properly could they have been. Further reforms were introduced last year, but it is right that, by definition, those in prison on IPP sentences have not been assessed as safe to release. However, I will certainly put her in touch with the Prisons Minister to discuss the matter further.