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Please urge your MP to sign the following excellent Early Day Motion (EDM 1254) tabled in the House of Commons.  It sets out very clearly the appalling situation that the thousands of remaining prisoners serving IPPs (“indeterminate sentences for public protection”) find themselves in despite the abolition by the present government of the IPP system as unjust and ineffective, and calls for additional funding for the Parole Board to enable it to speed up the processing of IPP prisoners who have served the punishment part of their sentences (their tariffs) with a view to releasing most of them without further intolerable delay.  This delay is a blot on our society, as was the original IPP sentence introduced by the last government.

Grateful thanks to Mr Elfyn Llwyd MP for his initiative in tabling this motion, and to its other sponsors.  And a hat-tip to Shirley Debono for alerting me to it.

You can find out the name of your MP and send him or her a message from  I suggest that you include in your message the website address of the Early Day Motion:

Here is the text of the Motion:


That this House notes that at the end of January 2014, 5,335 prisoners in the UK were still serving indeterminate sentences for public protection, which were abolished by the Government in 2012; further notes that 3,561 of these prisoners had already passed their tariff and that, since the Parole Board releases roughly 400 inmates every year, it will take nine years for the Board to clear this backlog of cases; further notes with dismay that many prisoners serving indeterminate sentences fail to gain places on appropriate courses which would progress their rehabilitation and that as a result such prisoners have little hope of release; recognises that 24 prisoners serving indeterminate sentences have committed suicide whilst in custody; further notes that each prison place costs £40,000 every year, making indeterminate sentences highly costly; and calls on the Government to increase funding to the Parole Board to clear the backlog of indeterminate prisoners, starting with those given initial tariffs of two years or less.

The more MPs who sign this EDM, the more notice the government (and the Parole Board) will have to take of it.  It probably won’t ever be debated or passed, but it’s a very useful form of pressure.

For more information about IPPs and the scandalous abandonment of thousands of IPP prisoners long after they have paid their debt to society, please see


4 comments on IPPs: please urge your MP to sign this important early Day Motion

  • lesley vann says:

    My Son is an IPP prisoner.  He suffered awful torment for 15 years before he finally snapped.  He was treated so bad in his trial as the defence was never heard because the judge was in a hurry to go for his lunch.  He is not a violent person and would never hurt any body. He has done his term in prison 5 years and he regrets what he did so much that he tortures himself.  I know that there are so many men in prison that have gone well their tariff and it is knocking all sense off life out of them.   They have done wrong but are being punished enough without an end date to their sentence.  They are like caged animals for when ever their keepers decide to let them come home to their families who are suffering badly too.

  • Helen says:

    We criticise regimes for failing to recognise human rights, yet there are thousands of people here in the UK who are being denied liberty and freedom to live an ordinary life because of the continuing blight of the inhumane IPP sentence. These people have served the punishment of imprisonment and are, in over 3000 cases, well beyond their minimum tariffs. They have no release dates to look forward to, and to plan for. They and their families, and I am a member of this latter group – are in a Kafke-esque limbo. Please urge your MP to sign the EDM. Thank you, Brian.

  • joanne mckenzie says:

    My partner got a n IPP sentence with a tariff of 3years ,but he is into his 10year!

  • Helen says:

    This is shocking, and you do have my sincere sympathy, Joanne. Our son served 7 years with just an 18 month tariff, but thankfully, has just been released after his 3rd parole. Just stick in there. They cannot keep these people in forever.

    Brian writes: Thank you for these comments, Joanne and Helen. Helen’s advice is sound: keep plugging away, don’t give up, and in the end all will be well. But whenever it ends, it’s a major scandal that such manifest injustice should continue so long without remedy.

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