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News Round-Up Week Ending 18.11.16

(Posted on 17/11/16)

News Round-Up Week Ending 18.11.16

Gove: Release 500 IPP Prisoners.

In the 2016 Longford lecture this week, former Justice Secretary Michael Gove urged his successor Liz Truss to use her power of “executive clemency” to release 500 post-tariff prisoners serving imprisonment for public protection (IPP).

“It is an inconvenient truth – which I swerved to an extent while in office – that we send too many people to prison,” Gove said. “And of those who deserve to be in custody, many, but certainly not all, are sent there for too long.”

Gove said he had wrongly feared that reducing the prison population would lead to a surge in crime, citing the fall in youth crime which has followed a reduction in the number of young offenders in custody. He also indirectly attacked cuts to Legal Aid.

Peter Clarke, chief inspector of prisons, has also called for urgent action on IPP.

“The justice secretary needs to act quickly to ensure the consequences of mistakes made in the past do not continue to resonate for many years to come,” Clarke said.

In response, a Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “We have set up a new unit within the ministry of justice to tackle the backlog and are working with the parole board to improve the efficiency of the process.”