Skip to main content
21 August 2023

PRT comment: Proposed changes to IPP licence review period reported in The Times

Commenting on reports in the Times today that the justice secretary Alex Chalk KC MP is considering proposals for reform of the IPP licence, Mark Day, deputy director at the Prison Reform Trust, said:

“We welcome reports that the justice secretary Alex Chalk is considering proposals to reduce the qualifying period for an IPP licence review from 10 to five years. This is a small but important step on the road to unwinding this disastrous sentence.

“However, this proposal will do nothing to address the situation faced by the hundreds of IPP prisoners held many years beyond tariff who have never been released. Nor will it address the plight of the growing numbers of IPPs recalled to custody within the first few years of release. Without resentencing, a revamped IPP action plan, while welcome, on its own will not be enough.

“The justice secretary has signalled an encouraging shift in approach and a willingness to consider much needed reform. He now needs to find the courage to bring forward proposals to finally bring the damaging legacy of this sentence to an end.”

Further resources

Our work on IPP sentences

Thousands of people remain in prison, held not for what they have done, but for what they might do.

Whilst the sentence was eventually abolished in 2012, this was not retrospective, meaning that today thousands of people remain in prison yet to be released. PRT continues to press for a fair and just outcome for these individuals who were left out of the government’s decision to abolish the IPP.

Find out what we’re doing