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Families protesting IPP sentences demand a release date.

(Posted on 15/02/18)

Families protesting IPP sentences demand a release date.

Families called a march from Manchester Probation Service (Minshull Street) to HMP Manchester on the 14th February, demanding justice for loved ones serving indefinite prison sentences.

Despite being abolished in 2012, almost 4000 people are still locked up in England and Wales under “Imprisonment for Public Protection” legislation. In a climate of overcrowding, it makes no sense to imprison people who have served their time. Families demand a release date and appropriate support for their loved ones.

On the 14th February families and friends of those sentenced to “Imprisonment for Public Protection” (IPP) staged a protest march from Manchester Probation Service on Minshull Street at 11am. The group, Smash IPP, demand release dates for those serving indefinite sentences. 80% of IPP prisoners have served their original sentence and are still waiting to be released.

Father of five, Ian Hartley, has served 13 years for a 2 year 11 month sentence and still has no release date. IPP sentences were brought in in 2005 to deal with high risk criminals but were used widely for minor crimes. The system was abolished in 2012 as 'not defensible' but this was not made retrospective.

Constant parole board deferrals, having to complete useless courses with years-long waiting times, and the callous, uncaring attitude of the Prisons mean sentences continue to stretch on. The rates of self harm and suicide among IPP prisoners is much higher than that of the general prison population, due to the uncertainty of not knowing when, or even if, you’ll be released. The harm to families and communities is incalculable.

“These sentences are inhumane and justice needs to be served," said Joanne Hibbert, partner of IPP Ian Hartley, "We are here to give a voice to Ian and all IPPs.”

Smash IPP is a collective of people fighting for the release of IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) prisoners, and the abolition of life licenses. Many have friends and family who are locked up with indefinite sentences. Contact Joanne Hibbert 07488 377337 Marion Dawson 07591 702849