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Prison Sentences

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 126610, tabled on 21 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans his Department has to review imprisonment for public protection sentences.

Answered on

1 March 2022

The Government keeps the operation of sentences of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) under constant review. This includes continuing to ensure that IPP prisoners, as well as all prisoners serving indeterminate sentences, have every opportunity to progress towards safe release. This approach is working, with high numbers of unreleased IPP prisoners achieving a release decision each year. The number of IPP prisoners who have never been released stood at 1,602 on 31 December 2021, down from over 6,000 at its peak.

This Government has brought forward an amendment relating to IPP licence terminations as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill, which is currently before Parliament. IPP offenders are eligible for Parole Board consideration of whether their IPP licence should be terminated, once 10 years has elapsed since their first release. The Bill will require the Secretary of State to refer all eligible IPP offenders to the Parole Board for consideration of licence termination. This will ensure that eligible IPP offenders have every opportunity to have their licence terminated.

The Government welcomes the Justice Select Committee inquiry into the IPP sentence and will carefully consider the recommendations in the final report.