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Britons serving illegal IPP sentences to have their license period reduced, according to sources

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IPP license to be reduced

People serving indefinite Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences may have their license time reduced under new guidelines under consideration by the government.

At the moment, the Parole Board will consider terminating an IPP licence ten years after the individual is originally released from prison, regardless of whether they have been recalled in the interim. The proposed regulation change would cut that term in half, to five years.

Last year, MPs on the Justice Select Committee recommended that the duration be reduced from ten to five years, in addition to its main suggestion, that all IPP offenders be resentenced. Both proposals were rejected at the time by then-Justice Secretary Dominic Raab.

However, the current Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, is said to be contemplating adopting the five-year adjustment, marking his latest U-turn on his predecessor’s parole regulations. Last week, The Times reported the change, citing Government sources, and The Guardian followed up, claiming it had been verified by a Ministry of Justice source.

The IPP, enacted by Labour in 2005 for serious violent or sexual offenses that do not require a life sentence, imposes a minimum duration of incarceration. Once this is accomplished, the subject stays in detention until the Parole Board determines that they are safe to release. No new IPP sentences have been imposed since 2012, when they were discovered to be illegal, but persons who were already serving them have been allowed to continue serving them, and there are currently 3,000 people in prison in England and Wales, half of whom are on recall.

Unless cancelled by the Parole Board, an IPP licence is valid for life. Individuals’ behavior and perceived risks are used to determine whether they should be terminated. When the choice is made not to terminate the license, the issue is re-considered yearly.

One member of the public said the following: “I’m sorry but the reduction of the licence suggestion just doesn’t quite cut the mustard it simply isn’t good enough! Not for the families who have lost there loved ones, endured torturous mental health and been locked up over tariff for years! Doesn’t do anything for those!”

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We opened the comments section on 26/08/2023

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