Friday, November 30, 2012

Injustice - The IPP Hostages


The injustice that is the IPP sentence has passed much of the public by. There are few column inches dedicated to it, rarely a televised word, and only a sprinkling of legislators have given a damn. And yet over 5,000 people sit in prison for no reason other than the fact that their avenue to release has been blocked by the very institutions which put them there in the first place.
In thrall to the populist media mob the last government created a new indefinite sentence – Indefinite detention for Public Protection, the IPP. There was no legal requirement for this new sentence; Judges had the Discretionary Life Sentence at their disposal to deal with those who they  believed posed a future public danger.
This was insufficient for the government, in that Judges had the temerity to use their judgement. With the IPP sentence, judicial discretion was neutered. A defendant who fitted a set of fixed criteria was obliged to be sentenced to IPP. Government predicted that only a few hundred people would be affected. It was a calculation of monumental stupidity and instead thousands of IPP sentences were handed down.
The government threw these people into the maws of the prison service and has watched them been crushed ever since. Those serving IPP can only be released by the Parole Board. And the Parole Board will only order release if the prisoner has completed various Offending Behaviour Courses.
The government has refused to resource the prison system to supply sufficient courses for the IPP prisoners, leaving them stranded and choking up the whole lifer system.
Now, thousands of people are stranded in prison. The government has abolished the IPP sentence – at last – but offered no solution or hope to those thousands remaining in prison serving that sentence. This is not only one of the most disgusting populist measures any government has instituted; it ranks as one of the grossest injustices.
Over 5000 people languish in prison, and their families stew in anguish, awaiting a solution.

18 comments:

  1. Spot on Ben...
    Now here's a point that I will agree on with you; IPP prisoners are the CJSs nasty little secret, inconvenient truth, or whatever else you may wish to call it,.

    Cynic-Al

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  2. It needs someone who's 5 years over their 2 year tariff, to challenge it in the courts.

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    1. Think that's already been done ... Unsuccessfully.... Better option is to appeal against sentence??

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    2. In that case, the goalposts moved when the IPP was abolished (and wasn't made retrospective)- meaning a trip back to court should be considered. I agree, an appeal against sentence seems like a good route, but is it happening - or has it happened?

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    3. There is, as yet, no proposed solution to liberate those stranded on IPP. The government is tiorn between doing the Right Thing - and the Daily Mail Thing...

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  3. The awful thing is that 0.00000000000001% of the Joe Public population has even heard of it.

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  4. Quote: "The injustice that is the IPP sentence has passed much of the public by"
    The genearal public dont care what happens to a prisoner once the door slams closed on them.

    Quote: "And yet over 5,000 people sit in prison for no reason other than the fact that their avenue to release has been blocked by the very institutions which put them there in the first place."
    Wrong! What put them there in the first place was their own dishonesty! Keep your nose clean and you wont be in prison! Millions of people manage to do it everyday!

    Who cares if "thousands of people are stranded in prison"? Throw away the key, we dont care!

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    1. Anon, I could have Cut n Paste that view from prisonofficer.org.uk, and its embarrassing to see it presented here.

      All of these people committed crimes.All of them were sentenced - but to open ended terms, with the government failing to give them a way out.

      If you think that someone with a 2 year tariff should still be in after 5 years because he can't get access to courses then you are blind to the idea of "injustice".

      As ever with screws, whatever is done to the con, no matter how wicked, its the cons fault.

      And if you don't care about injustice, let's hope your faultless and saintly life continues....Oh, sorry, I forgot! You're breaking the law as a screw commenting in public. Welcome to criminality, friend :)

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    2. Anonymous @12.34 p.m.

      You are a sadist.

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    3. I wasn't aware that the IPP sentence was used for dishonesty offences...

      In fact, of the list of dangerous offences, none of them are dishonesty offences per se.

      Never expect a screw to get it right though.

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    4. Hey Fenrir .... Bet you were never this gobby when you were inside, on VP with all the other bacons....

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    5. Another brave anon@ 7.40pm. Well done!

      Chuck

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    6. Actually @anon - I made an average of one complaint a day about mistreatment of the prisoners by the staff or the system.

      When I walked out of Holme House on parole, I had 34 outstanding complaints, and get 32 Ombudsman referrals due to the prison failing to respond. They thought that because I wasn't a prisoner any more, I didn't need to be replied to.

      As to the VP, I wasn't on VP in Durham, Forest Bank, or Birmingham.

      So no, I wasn't that gobby on the VP, I was that gobby on the main!

      And for the record, in at least one of those jails, if you referred to the VP as Bacons, you'd lose your job, whatever colour you wore.

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  5. Anon, 12.34: I hope that no-one close to you steps off the narrow path you set for mankind, as your harsh, narrow minded views and cold hearted attitude would leave them very alone in the world. Or would it - heaven forbid - make you question your attitudes?

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  6. Well said Goose. I have first hand experience of the horror of IPPs - how does a 7 month tariff and still in prison 5 years later sound to anon? Of course people should be punished for wrongdoings and crimes but not crucified by a system that is barbaric and unforgiving.

    Good Ben - you have once again drawn attention to something unfair, unjust and soul-destroying for the prisoner with the IPP and his/her family/friends. Anonymous above does not care about these people and how dare he say 'the public don't care what happens to a prisoner' - how does he know that? I know of many hundreds of people who do care and would prefer it if Anon does not speak on my/their behalf.

    It is worth appealing against the sentence but how many people can afford this - it is not within the reach of many prisoners and families? The real responsibility lies with the Government and they should give attention to the outstanding prisoners over tariff.

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  7. And like all the other grandstanding measures put in place by pols desperate to kiss the arses of the tabloid-scanners, the IPP has been used far beyond the sorts of cases where it might be remotely appropriate. Take the case of Joe Paraskeva as just one example: http://justiceforjoe.org.uk/.

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  8. this sentence is a joke .... people on the out side not even aware.... people living it so painfully aware...... please dont tell me the public sleep safer ....... because of this sentence.............

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  9. standing by her manDecember 9, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    So so many sad, ignorant , selfish , uneducated and obviously UN-LOVED idiots on the out side !!!!! NOT locked up -THATS THE SCARY THING!!!!!!! . My partner has served his time , 6 years over tarrif, works everyday in public and GIVES BACK 40% OF EARNINGS TO VICTIMS OF CRIME , VOLUNTEERS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY , has done every available course , and is the most loving , kind, honest man ive ever met . Its the weirdo s still out there and the bully tactics of crappy screws on the inside that leave a lot to be desired. Get your facts right , keep your gob shut if your not willing to even put a name to it ( WONDER WHY ? ) AND LETS FREE ALL OVER TARRIF IPPS ASAP LIFE IS TOO SHORT AND I WANT TO MARRY HIM SOON PLS X

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