26 March 2014

Grayling may pay for prisoners in jail too long

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is under pressure to do something about the 3500 prisoners who have been held for months and even years over their term because of a lack of rehabilitation resources.

By Melissa Lesh


These prisoners are serving “intermediate sentences for public protection” (IPPs) because they are not deemed safe in the public until they have  completed education and training programmes – which only accommodate 400 inmates per year.  A prisoner in Erlestoke prison has been incarcerated for seven years instead of his seven-month sentence.  The IPP prisoners cost the prison system £129m annually.

The most severe crimes

Prisoners are now suing Grayling and claiming violation of  their human rights. Lord Berwick and others, including former Chief Inspector of Prisons Lord Wigley, are pressuring Grayling to allow prisoners to convert to a determinate sentence.   Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright said: “We have no intention of retrospectively altering lawfully imposed IPP sentences – they were handed down for the most severe crimes, to ensure public protection.”  Source: The Times

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