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Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL14758, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Prison Reform Trust No Life, No Freedom, No Future: The experiences of prisoners recalled under the sentence of Imprisonment, published on 3 December 2020; and what plans they have publish a response to that report.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The Government values the work of the Prison Reform Trust and, specifically, the ongoing dialogue with the Trust as to how best to support those serving the sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP), whether in prison or in the community.

The Government and officials acknowledge that recalling any offender to custody involves some disruption. However, we have not identified cases of “unnecessary” recalls of offenders subject to IPP licences. HM Chief Inspector of Probation found in a thematic review of the Probation Service’s culture and practice on recall, published on 10 November last year, that offender managers are considering, properly, public protection when deciding how to respond to evidence that offenders have breached their licence conditions in such a way as to indicate escalating risk. Thus, where an offender on an IPP licence is recalled to custody, it is because the Probation Service has concluded that the offender’s risk is now too high for it to be managed effectively in the community, even with the imposition of additional licence conditions.

However, offender managers must always consider whether there are safe alternatives to recall when responding to breaches of licence conditions and evidence of increased risk. Additionally, HM Prison and Probation Service is working to improve the quality and timeliness of its risk assessments following recall, so that the Parole Board may in some cases safely direct the re-release of recalled offenders on an IPP licence earlier than is currently the case.