20,000 signatures reached
To: David Gauke - Secretary of State for Justice.
Release the Remaining IPP Prisoners
The High Court abolished indefinite prison sentences (IPP sentences) in 2012, yet there are still 3500 IPP prisoners, stuck in the prison system with no hope of release, even if they've served their prison term and passed the necessary training.
We demand that;
- The backlog of IPP prisoners is urgently attended to, and IPP prisoners are prioritised for release immediately.
- IPP prisoners are offered the specialist support - indefinite sentencing has a devastating effect on IPP prisoners mental health, sixteen IPP prisoners have committed suicide this year.
Why is this important?
IPP prisoners remain in jail indefinitely in England and Wales under the sentence of imprisonment (IPP), which was abolished in 2012 for future offenses. Many have long exceeded the punitive tariff imposed for the offenses they committed, in some cases as little as a few months. However, at present IPP prisoners must seek release on parole on the same terms as life sentence prisoners, although the Justice Secretary has a statutory power to establish a new release test. In several cases the European Court of Human Rights has found continued IPP detention to be arbitrary and in breach of Convention rights.
Lord Lloyd of Berwick, former Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, said:
"There are thousands IPP people in prison who arguably shouldn’t be there and have no release date. A senior high court judge describes them as ‘the disappeared'...“This is a crime against humanity. We are talking about people here who have paid for their crime who have finished their sentence who want to return home to their families build their life’s back up”
IPP sentance is effecting the prisoners Mental Health
It should also be noted that apart from the IPP prisoners themselves, the real losers are their family and friends who are often left struggling to understand the realities of an IPP sentence often at a loss as to what to do about the nightmare situation in which they find themselves.
1. IPP Prisoners Families Campaign - http://ippfanilycampaign.blogspot.co.uk/
2. The Guardian - "Former law lord says 3,500 prisoners behind bars longer than necessary" - http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/05/lord-lloyd-prisoners-chris-grayling-indefinite-sentences
How it will be delivered
The petition will be delivered by hand.