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Imprisonment for Public Protection Sentences

Volume 735: debated on Tuesday 27 June 2023

5. What assessment he has made of the impact of imprisonment for public protection sentences on the criminal justice system. (905635)

The number of IPP offenders in custody has fallen from 6,000 in 2012 to 2,916 at the end of March this year. That includes 1,561 who had been released but were then recalled. The Government are committed to helping IPP offenders to progress through their sentences, under the revised IPP action plan published in April, and towards safe release.

At age 17, my constituent Danny Weatherson was convicted of shoplifting, with a recommended term of 15 months. Seventeen years later, he has only just been granted parole, in a justice system that seems too under-resourced to progress his case. Imprisonment for public protection is a complex area, and many who serve such sentences undoubtedly do present a threat to the public, but does the Minister agree that discussions on reform should take place on a cross-party basis, with the voices of victims and justice campaigners heard, and that a functioning probation system is a prerequisite?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for the tone in which she asks about this issue. Obviously, the role of the Parole Board and the probation service is vital, and the Parole Board is regularly looking at cases. I welcome what she said about continuing to look at this matter, and the Government welcome the Justice Committee’s recent report, which was an important opportunity to take stock. The Lord Chancellor will speak further on this matter in due course.