The Prison Reform Trust’s Head of Policy and Communications, Mark Day, yesterday took part in a discussion on the BBC Two Victoria Derbyshire programme on the damaging legacy of the Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection (IPP). 

Although the sentence was abolished in 2012, there are still 3,353 people in prison serving IPP as of 30 June 2017. Over four-fifths (85%) of people serving an IPP sentence are still in prison having passed their tariff expiry date—the minimum period they must spend in custody and considered necessary to serve as punishment for the offence. 552 people are still in prison despite being given a tariff of less than two years—nearly half of these (278 people) have served eight years or more beyond their original tariff. Despite recent efforts by the Parole Board and prison service to increase the rate of release of IPP prisoners, the Parole Board predicts that without legislative action by 2020 there will still be 2000 people in prison serving on IPP sentence.

The BBC’s story, which was also covered by the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, considered the case of James Ward, who in 2006 was given an IPP sentence with a 10 month tariff, but who 11 years later remains in custody. Commenting on the Today programme, the Chair of the Parole Board Nick Hardwick urged the government to “get a grip” on the issue by bringing forward measures to expedite the release of the remaining post-tariff IPP prisoners.

You can watch the feature on the Victoria Derbyshire programme here [starts 16.10]