MPs to debate Justice Committee’s IPP report
A debate on the Justice Committee’s IPP report will take place in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament on Thursday 27 April. Ahead of the debate, the Prison Reform Trust has published a briefing to assist MPs.
The Prison Reform Trust welcomed the Justice Committee’s inquiry on IPP sentences and provided oral and written evidence to the committee. The resulting report was in depth and authoritative, recognising that addressing the legacy of the sentence required a careful balance between the needs of justice and safeguarding public protection. The report was unequivocal in its call that government, judiciary and parliament must act together to end the injustice which the sentence represents. It provided a carefully considered set of practical recommendations for change.
The government’s response to the committee’s report could have been an opportunity to right an historic wrong. But despite repeated delays, the inadequate response failed to live up to the challenge posed by the committee and simply prolongs the anguish and uncertainty facing those still trapped in this unjust sentence. While some of the commitments are welcome, most of what the government offers is either the promise of future reviews, or complacent descriptions of current processes which the Justice Committee and everyone familiar with the treatment of people serving the IPP sentence knows are failing.
In the briefing we examine some of the committee’s key recommendations on resentencing, the IPP action plan, recall and mental health, and present our analysis of the government’s response.