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How does an IPP sentence end?
Advice on how to terminate an IPP licence, with details of proposal to cut licence from 10 years to 5.

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Important Update – November 2023

Although the information in this post remains correct in late 2023, readers should know that the Government has today (28 November 2023) announced forthcoming changes to the termination of IPP licences. It has introduced government amendments to the Victims and Prisoners bill currently going through parliament which will:

  • Reduce the qualifying period for an IPP licence review from 10 to three years. This means that three years after their release, a person serving an IPP will be automatically referred to the Parole Board for a review of their licence.
  • If a licence is not terminated at the three-year mark by the Parole Board, it will automatically terminate after a further two years if the person is not recalled to prison in that time.

PLEASE be aware that the change which means all IPP licences will be terminated after 5 years is NOT YET LAW. The Bill is expected to be passed and become an Act of Parliament in the next couple of months. When that happens, there should be more details of when the changes come into effect and further details. 

When this happens, I will update this post. 

In the meantime, the most accurate and detailed advice is provided by the Prison Reform Trust on Inside Time. You can read it here.

10 year licence

For the last eighteen months Kimmett Edgar and Mia Harris of the Prison Reform Trust and myself have been working on a study into the lived experience of people on IPP sentences who have been recalled to prison. The study will be published before the end of the year and provides (I think) a heart-wrenching insight into what feels like the never-ending experience of being subject to an IPP sentence.

Imprisonment for Public Protection

The IPP was introduced through the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and was intended to apply to dangerous people convicted of violent and sexual offences who did not merit a life sentence. People would serve a minimum term in prison (their tariff), during which time they would undertake work to reduce the risk they posed. Once their tariff expired, the Parole Board would review their case. They would only be released when their risk was considered manageable in the community. Once released, people remain subject to an indefinite licence, which they can apply to have cancelled 10 years after their initial release. The IPP sentence ended up being passed 8,711 times including on thousands of people who committed much less serious offences than originally intended and was abolished as being fundamentally unjust in 2012. However, the abolition had no retrospective powers – that is those people already on an IPP had to comply with the original legislation.

Many readers will be aware that most people serving IPPs serve many years beyond their tariff in prison (often because they are not able to access the offending behaviour programmes which could demonstrate a reduction in risk). Many will also be aware that a large number of people on IPPs who are eventually released are recalled to prison. Indeed, in the first quarter of this year, there were more prison recalls than releases (both first releases and subsequent re-releases) of people serving on IPPs. What it feels like to be constantly “treading on eggshells” throughout your life for fear of being recalled to prison is the subject of our study.

The subject of today’s blog post is the end of the IPP experience, how an IPP licence can be terminated and is prompted by the Parole Board’s publication on Wednesday (7 October) of its formal guidance to its members on how to terminate an IPP licence. Many of us are heartened by the Parole Board’s commitment to transparency and continuing drive to put the detail of its practices and procedures in the public domain.

Confusion

In addition to interviewing 30 individuals who had been recalled to prison on IPP licences, we also interviewed prison, probation and parole board staff. One of the areas which caused confusion was how an IPP licence came to an end. 

People serving IPPs for non-sexual offences may apply to have their probation supervision suspended after five years (recently increased from 4) from their initial release. All people serving IPPs can apply to have their licence removed after a period of ten years after their original release. The probation officers we interviewed had different understandings of the length of time that people had to wait before they could apply for their licence to be removed – some believed it to be four years. Furthermore, some probation officers incorrectly assumed that if somebody was recalled to prison, the ten-year period before which they could apply to remove their licence would start again on their re-release.  The Parole Board told us that they were not aware of any individual applying to have their licence terminated.

We know that many people on IPPs who are released from prison are never recalled so why have none of these (admittedly a reasonably small number since just 94 people had been released from an IPP sentence by the end of 2009) done so? The most likely reason is that people subject to IPPs are keen to put their past behind them and there is obviously a very long period between the likely end of supervision requirements four years post-release and the expiry of the ten year period. Individuals are not contacted to be told they can apply to have their licence terminated and many are both getting on with their lives and, understandably, reluctant to have any contact with a criminal justice system which has made them subject to a prison sentence which was subsequently abolished for being unjust.

The consequences of this situation is that anyone who has been on an IPP who is arrested for any offence, however trivial, might still be considered to be in breach of their licence and vulnerable to being recalled to prison at any time for the rest of their lives unless the licence has been officially terminated.

Official guidance

The Parole Board guidance makes it clear what should happen:

  • An offender sentenced to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) has the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their IPP licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and re-released. 
  • Any applications for termination of an IPP licence should be made by the licensee themselves, either to the Parole Board directly or via the National Probation Service (NPS)/ PPCS. However, where an application is received directly from the licensee to the Parole Board, the NPS will still need to be notified, via PPCS, so that the correct information pack can be prepared.
  • It is only the Parole Board that can terminate an IPP licence.
  • Once an IPP licence has been terminated, the licensee will not be subject to recall, and unlike the suspension of supervision, all of the licence conditions are terminated and may not be re-imposed.

The Parole Board can make a decision either “on the papers” or by a panel at a hearing.

The guidance makes it clear that it is the person themselves who must make the application to terminate their licence although their probation officer may encourage them to do so:

  • The NPS responsible officer is not required to make applications on behalf of the licensee and so requests can be initiated by the licensee as the starting point. However, responsible officers can, where they feel it appropriate, make contact with the licensee and suggest making an application.
  • A licensee does not require the support of the responsible officer in order to make an application directly to the Parole Board. However, the responsible officer is required to produce a report where an application is made.
  • PPCS will make contact with the appointed responsible officer and ensure all the necessary paperwork, as set out in the Parole Board proforma (which has been agreed by HMPPS officials), is provided.

The publication of this guidance is helpful. But the fact remains that it is a very common experience for people on IPPs to serve sentences in excess of 20 years in prison and in the community when the average (mean) length of tariff for all IPP sentences was just three years.

How to make an application

Everybody serving an IPP sentence has the right to apply to the Parole Board for a review of their licence 10 years after they are first released from prison. The Parole Board can decide to end the licence, change licence conditions, or refuse the application. UNGRIPP has developed a great resource which guides you through the process.

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94 Responses

  1. This is great news, i have always had discussions with probation about terminating my license after 10 years from my initial release, as i was recalled after 11 months but i only served 5 months due to the parole board agreeing i should never have been recalled in the first place. Still last month my probation told me i have to serve 10 years in the community from when i was last released. But i would like to know is their anyway i could move abroad as my partner of 7 years lives in Portugal but still stay on license until i apply to have it quashed maybe report to the British consulate or something similar.

    1. I was recalled and acquitted of all charges after 8 months for malicious allegations that were proven in crown court to of been fabricated to cause maximum damage to my life out of jealousy.
      I then had to serve another 10 months as the parole board over ruled my probation officer and said I needed a full psychological evaluation when she said it was not warranted.
      Ive been psychologically tortured by the parole board and want to seek compensation for the underhandedness caused against me for being ipp.

  2. I received a 20 month IPP and served 13 years in prison despite a clean record and positive reports from staff who dealt with me on a daily basis. Decisions for release were always based on reports by probation who only ever had very ltd time with me due to busy caseloads. The risk averse culture resulted in negative biased reports and repeated knock backs. Despite being released 9 months ago i still have to report weekly to probation and have many additional restrictions imposed on me as well as being at the mercy of which ever officers own opinion is, that is managing me at that time. The result is that not only have spent so much time in prison which statistically raises risk but the additional restrictions limit both work and social possibilities leaving me isolated in the community, this is also known to raise risk. I feel emotionally isolated, and in constant fear of being returned to prison, not for committing a further crime but for falling foul of predjucies of probation or media. I feel less mentally healthy now and despite being in the community, which is preferable to prison, I still feel like I’m in prison and don’t know if I will ever be able to move on and put my past behind me, I regularly feel depressed with thoughts of ending it all because of the constant stress of this abolished sentence that was not made retrospective. All IPP’s should be converted to their notional determinate sentence with an an extended fixed liscence period of 5 years, at least then we would know where we stand and have something to work towards.

    1. Thanks for taking the trouble to write, Simon. I’m so sorry that it has been so difficult for you and hope that you are able to find some support for the way you are feeling. I am absolutely agree with you that IPP sentences should be set at their original tariff and the period of licence reduced. I hope you can keep battling on – hopefully 2021 will be a better year for many of us.

      1. Hi Russell

        Just to inform you that Simon was recalled to prison a few weeks ago for a very trivial matter. His hearing won’t be until August at the earliest, this really breaks my heart I don’t know how he is going to cope
        Kindest regards
        Martin

    2. I could have written this blog as my circumstances are almost exactly the same. I have also passed two polygraph tests in the past 12 months and still my conditions on licence have remained the same. Oh but that is covids fault not NPS or IPP

  3. Ipp needs to be abolished all together it’s inhumane wrong and was stopped many years ago so why are our sons and daughters still suffering this way take away ipp now once and for all time it’s wrong that it’s still stuck on the few after it was abolished it’s done so much damage to families take it away now

  4. My partner is in on IPP however he is coming up to this 10 year mark this October. He has just been informed that he cannot terminate his licence as its life but instead can look to have his supervisions dropped. After reading this article please can you tell us where we stand with this? He has always been led to believe that he can apply for it to be terminated after 10 years but is now being told that isn’t the case and he was miss informed?

    1. Hi Emma
      The parole board official guidance, which you can read here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/924827/Annex_A_-_IPP_Licence_Termination_Member_Guidance.pdf clearly says that a person on IPP “has the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their IPP licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and rereleased.” If your partner was released from prison 10 years ago, I suggest he shows the guidance to his supervising probation officer so they can discuss it. Of course, applying doesn’t mean that the application will be granted, but the guidance seems to be clear that there is a right to apply. Best Wishes. Russell

      1. Thank you for getting back to me. Its very stressful and a complete set back. Hopefully we can find resolution with this. Its mind boggling that there is this confusion between what licensee’s & NPS believe to be correct. Buf you have confirmed what he has believed all along so thank you!

    2. Put bluntly and simply Emma if he is an IPP prisoner then he IS entitled to apply and whoever it is that is telling him otherwise is wrong.

  5. My son has been recalled after being in a hostel where he knows no one in in the area due to lockdown he has not been able to get the full support he needed. I feel that he has been let down by his outside offender manager. The offender manager in the hostel said his mental health was very bad but he recieved no help just recall
    I think during these times they should not be so quick to recall unless it’s for serious violence etc.
    His life is in ruins now and it has taken any chance of seeing his daughter away

    Tricia grigg

  6. Hi Russell.
    My name is Colin, and I am a ipp.
    I have now been on license for 10 years and today we got the ball rolling to apply to have the license terminated…..I have been supervised all the way through this, which I can appreciate, thou it has been hard, only for the fact that I’ve had this hanging over me for 10 years, scared that maybe one day I may miss an appointment an get recalled,
    Thankfully that hasn’t happened, the anxiety is real.
    My question is, the ipp was terminated in 2012, does this make it more likely that my license will be terminated?

    Many thanks

    Colin

    1. Hi Colin
      Myself and colleagues at the Prison Reform Trust spoke to the Parole Board last month and they have had 4 applications to terminate the licence and approved 3 of them. I’m afraid the fact that the unjust nature of IPPs was recognised and they were discontinued won’t be considered relevant.
      Good luck

      Russell

  7. I am at my wits end my son is an IPP prisoner term given 4 years he has now been in 14 years……. He as been let out on parole twice and both times he got re-called. He came out still the 24 year old that went in. I miss him so much. next parole not until next year, he will be 40yrs old.

    thanks
    Terena ( a sad mum )

  8. my son served 10yrs on ipp original sentence 18 month ,he was recalled when is x partner who he went back to because of there son and after he had paid thousands to rehome them and furnish home as she claimed she was afraid of the partner she was with at the time ,then made allegations to parole she was afraid of him this is also after she had stabbed him in neck and groin with a screwdriver nothing was done about her my son was recalled no court case no trial he was the victim ,my son had permenant work good job bank savings of over 20k she had it all ,it is unfair that people on this sentence are open to attack by people like her ,my son has no rights and has lost everything and is lying rotting in a prison god knows for how much longer where are his rights

  9. hi i am 6 months away from 10yrs on release. how do i submit the applicationto the parole board i am not entiled to legal aid on this matter and many soclitors do not have a clue what to do

  10. My son has severed 11yrs IPP of a 2yr tarriff so far.he wants me to find out about if you can appealing your ipp sentence has’ hes been told there is a new appeal system just out .if you done over your tariff u could get the ipp taken off.dont know if theres any truth in this .his mother died while he was in prison from cancer.he suffers from aniexty an has other issues.my l late wife just wishes he would have his freedom one day.i can not see any ligbt at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Hi Chris, I was very sorry to hear your story about your son serving so long over tariff. I’m very sorry to say that to the best of my knowledge there’s no way to appeal an IPP sentence. As I’m sure you know, they repealed the legislation meaning no new IPPs could be made but didn’t make any changes for those already unlucky enough to have received this unjust sentence. Data published by the MoJ today admitted that 96% IPPs have served beyond their tariff. You probably know but there is a new organisation, UNGRIPP who are campaigning for people subject to IPP and are the best source for all information on IPPs: https://www.ungripp.com/
      I hope you can get some help for your son and some support for yourself
      With very best wishes
      Russell

  11. I was given an 3 year IPP in 2007 & managed to get released in 2014 , later recalled & released again in 2016 then 18 months later after walking on egg shells along with being placed 45 miles away from my family, friends, support network I decided to leave the country as saw know point in staying in a country which proclaims to the world that it represents freedom & justice when in fact it’s a lie .
    In 2020 I came back as lost my job due to Covid pandemic & was arrested at Gatwick Airport, Was sentenced to 3 months in prison for unlawfully at large & serve 6 weeks, but was in jail 11 1/2 months , The judge was very understanding to be honest after reading my statement & circumstances, Finally released 9th March 2021 & was aloud back to my home town 14 years since my conviction back in 2007 . In a hostel on tag ( GPS ) now for 6 months & start all over again . Personally if I get recalled again I won’t bother to ask or apply for release as not going through know more mental torture. Think the government should give all IPP’s the right to assisted suicide

    1. Hi David
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I was very saddened to read your story. Hope life gets better for you – don’t forget you can apply to have your licence terminated in 2024 – 10 years after your initial release.
      Good luck
      Russell

  12. I wonder if anyone at RussellWebster can clarify regarding this right to a review under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997. Does this also apply to those sentence to the OLR sentence (Order for Lifelong Restriction) in Scotland? It is a simular sentence to the DPP/IPP and has a punitive term which many of those sentence to it have exceeded many times over. If it does not are you aware of any Act that may offer a simular right to a review?

  13. I had a ipp with 2 minimum in July 2005 age 17.. I have been recalled twice an now on my 3rd release.. My 1st release was 2008. I’m now 33 years old an had enough of this burden, mentally an emotionally this sentence has broke me from the inside out.. Please tell me where to get this application so I can apply ASAP thanks

    1. Ni Nicholas
      The parole board official guidance, which you can read here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/924827/Annex_A_-_IPP_Licence_Termination_Member_Guidance.pdf clearly says that a person on IPP “has the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their IPP licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and rereleased.” If you were released in 2008, I suggest you show the guidance to your supervising probation officer so you can discuss it. Of course, applying doesn’t mean that the application will be granted, but the guidance seems to be clear that there is a right to apply. Best Wishes. Russell

  14. Hi can some give me a call please regarding my brother who’s suffers from mentel health and is on ipp who’s jus been recall back in to prison many thanks Salma

  15. Hi Salma, I was very sorry to hear about your brother. I’m afraid I don’t have any professional skills to be able to advise you. You probably know but there is a new organisation, UNGRIPP who are campaigning for people subject to IPP and are the best source for all information on IPPs: https://www.ungripp.com/
    I hope you can get some help for your brother and some support for yourself
    With very best wishes
    Russell

  16. Hi, My husband, 77 years old and registered disabled, was recalled in August, 2020. Never interviewed by the police. Never charged. Just report after report from probation. Over 200 pages. Because I had bruises from a fall, I’m 73 and disabled, an assumption was made that it was domestic violence. I woke in hospital, stark naked with two nurses taking photographs of me. After a year of trying, I have no idea who gave permission. Investigated by police and found insufficient evidence to take to the CPS. The police investigated a charge that he had threatened my adult son. Again. Insufficient evidence to take to the CPS. I repeat. He has never been charged. He has been in the hospital wing since last August. Effectively, solitary confinement. Police finally interviewed me May, 2021. A DC rang me to say all charges dropped. I asked him 4 times recently ‘was he charged at the police station’ but he would not give me a reply. He never saw a duty solicitor and we had to find one ourselves. They won’t let him come home and have been putting ideas for his release, including living with his sister (74 years old and also with health issues) at the other end of the country. Live in a hostel (not local) but they won’t have him because, ironically, he has never been charged and now a suggestion that he can live in a separate flat, which we will have to pay for, and he will be able to visit me during the day and go back at night. I have never been interviewed by probation. I now, to my horror have a social worker when I have no need of one. On the one occasion, a couple of months ago’ when she visited our home, I was told I was ‘fiercely independent’. I am totally independent and have paid for all my own needs for mobility etc. I have had two domestic violence workers who I have never seen, only ‘phone calls now and again. He has been accused of manipulating me by writing romantic letters and ‘bombarding’ me with ‘phone calls. Three a day. The morning call to check if I’m alive. We’ve already discussed coffins etc. It was a joke but now it’s not so funny. I have not seen my husband in just on a year. I can’t travel because of low oxygen levels and poor mobility, I live alone with no-one to take me. He is not in a local prison as they couldn’t take him and because of the distance, I can’t get there. We get no legal aid as, foolishly, we saved for our old age. This has already cost thousands. No help with a visit because I get no benefits. I gather probation should help me with a visit but nothing. His original probation officer retired this month so now we have a total unknown who is going by the paperwork written by her counterpart. Apart from a talk over video link, she doesn’t know my husband. I have tried every avenue to get help. When I contacted our MP, the email went to the wrong one and when I forwarded it to the right one, I’ve never had a reply. We are both just living in limbo. Our only chance is to agree to pay for a flat – in effect, paying for his own incarceration. As we live in a pleasant seaside town. in the unlikely event that we could find a flat, the rent would be £800-£1000 a month. We have been married for 19 years without incident. He was recalled at that time for not telling probation of our marriage.. Our barrister was Flau Kraus and he was released. However probation was hammered and it came under Article 3, human rights. i.e. torture because of the delays etc. This has gone on for a year. It is torture. All I ask is a visit because we just don’t know when this will end. Our solicitor is trying everything but it seems to be a catch 22 situation.

    1. Hi Jon, I just checked with UNGRIPP, https://www.ungripp.com/, who are the best source of information on everything to do with IPP. The rule was recently changed to 5 years post-release, not 4. And yes, the application for suspending. suspension must be made by the offender manager, whereas people can apply directly to the Parole Board for licence termination at 10 years.. Apologies, I’ve amended my blog post above.
      Good luck and best wishes
      Russell

  17. Also thnx for the info as we’re left alone to suffer and as mentioned probation officers don’t know or care about after 4 years the supervision requirements are needed no more an my probation is clueless to being able terminate the licence completely after 10 years .

  18. Hi . My son served nearly 10 years of 3 year tariff… released 6 years ago… recalled 10 month ago still no charge…had parole hearing this week ..was deferred until April 22 …was not even allowed to make a statement..or read any of the support letters out.. if he is released without charge he’s wasted another year of his life ….it’s outrageous and inhuman

  19. God, i wish i had been aware of your existence some time a go Russell. I am not going into detail about my IPP sentence purely because i have repeated this a billion times in the last 18 years ish. I was apparently the fourth person to recieve this sentence with a tariff of 6 months….!! Anyway cut a very long story short i was recalled twice and did 5 years on one and one year on the next. I have been out now for some 7 years and have only just this week been made aware of these new processes. However despite the fact that i have been way overdue to apply for removal of the licence probations area manager is not recommending it because of the two recalls. Surely the recalls ARE the punishment and i shouldnt still be being punished for being punished ?? This entire damned sentence is not only wrong but it seriously needs binning so that the system and us can get back on an even keel. It is ironic that this sentence was brought in for those that didnt deserve a life sentence and yet they have ended up in a position where their treatment is far more severe and wrong.

    1. Hi Keith, as far as I understand it, the decision to cease probation supervision is down to the discretion of the probation service; although the “rule of thumb” is 5 years.
      If it is 10 years since your first release from prison on this IPP sentence, you have a right to apply to the parole board to ask them to terminate your licence. Again, they don’t have to agree, but they are required to consider your application.
      You probably know but there is a new organisation, UNGRIPP who are campaigning for people subject to IPP and are the best source for all information on IPPs: https://www.ungripp.com/
      Good luck!

  20. JUST TO SAY HOW MUCH I GREATLY ADMIRE YOUR WEBSITE.I THINK YOUR WORK IS FANTASTIC AND I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE COUNTLESS TIMES WITH MY STUDENTS.THANKYOU.

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  21. I’ve just passed my ten year mark a few weeks ago and now just been informed by my probation officer that my supervision order will not be over turned because of an argument I had with my ex partner two years ago.i didn’t threaten her and the argument was petty but she rang the police no action was taken because I didn’t do anything wrong,I then got put in a bail hostel for two weeks and extra license conditions put on my ipp,like don’t go near the address and got a tag on my leg to track my whereabouts for two months.I’ve always worked as a joiner,never missed an appointment with probation,never caused any trouble or been recalled and try my best to work hard and respect others.this sentence has had a detrimental effect on my mental health and I can’t do anything more to try prove myself so I don’t know what else I can do or what Avenue to go now ,because I feel no matter what I do they seem to find excuses not to overturn my supervision order

  22. my nephew had finished his sentence and was out reporting to probation he was released to his mum and dads.
    on july7th last year my nephew was arrested out side probation office his young son screaming my nephew was told his mother had reported him on july 6th saying he threatened her with a knife smashed a chair and because of this and the licience he is on ipp 2stroke lifer he was put back in prison.i have been contacting everyone probation put in complate because they said they recalled him on july 6th which danny was at his parents no one came dan was not told till he was arrested probation should of recalled him then arrested but instead they waited till next day.in the weeks that followed his mother then decided he had done enough time and admitted she lied about it because dan was looking at trying to work things out with his wife she walked free danny still sits in prison for no crime.winchester crown court said on paper if he as no other time to serve he should be released and was found not guilty on all charges.probation parole no this but chose to ignore it.then because i was pushing goverment 13 of this month a parole board set meeting up we were hoping they would of red his case instead parole said he will get hearing on october dan tried to say look at all the evidence he was shut down they decided he needed a phycological assessment what for they had months to inform danny and his lawyer but didnt then probation was there and said they were moving on danny was once again not told these are the 2 girls who made mistake so what can i do i will not stop he should not be on that licience and should be released on the terms he was on.
    regards sharon

  23. I have just had my IPP license terminated, I was released in 2011 and was subject to recall in 2020 for offences that I was found not guilty for, despite the recall with the support or my OM and Lord David Blunkett, who wrote my representation, my license is now terminated. It was not as straight cut as that leads you to believe, I had to provide senior probation proof that termination was actually 10 years after initial release, the parole board then opted to suspend supervision concerned about information they did not have, again my OM chased and questioned this and complained to PPCS, 3 weeks later and my termination was granted.
    The lesson here, is do not give up, do not be brushed off, get all the aupport you can and push for your freedom

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your good news, Dave plus the advice that you have to really stand up for your rights to get them granted. Great to hear that your offender manager was so supportive. Congratulations!

  24. I’m 7 years out now had some positive drug tests in that time hence why I’m Medium risk I’ve been told because I’ve not completely followed the licence I may not be even allowed to appeal the license at the ten year mark it’s a absolute joke ,my O.M who’s a good OM is struggling herself with whats what most of the lads and lasses still in prison on this sentence are mostly their by their own doing either by drugs or phones nickings ect I just played the game done the courses yes sir no sir and got out quicker probation officers themselves struggle with this sentence and the rules it’s not just us cons

  25. Hi
    I have reached 7 years on my Ipp sentence. I go for monthly visit to probation just a few months ago a request was put to the Parole Board to remove my supervision order after 3 months of waiting I have been advised by my OM probation unit that the parole board has gone national. Please can someone expalin the meaning of this. When I was in prison the parole board within a month would tell you yes or no for anything. In the real world after 3 months of waiting no reply just waiting If I ask my probation officer they have no idea. Always moving in fear that something might wrong and get recalled., miss any appointments etc even though I have been on good behavoiur since my release. Living away family,friends and having soical life. family hoildays or going to family funral.
    We are not even allowed to go on hoilday with wife and son due not being an emergency or a crisis this where I have to leave the country.

  26. Hi Ruessell, the ungripp is information which I already know. my qurie is regards to the parole board going national what does this mean? my praobation officer has made a request for removel of supervion order after 7 years of being on probation. Waiting 3 months plus for an aswer. Low risk to public, working,married,doing education and just living a normal life.. No drinking no drugs or other kind of issues have been raised. This August it will 7 years since my release and on yearly basis I get reviwed by probation regards to my progress. My supervison order has been in the pipeline since last year. But the last two probation officers left me hanging without doing any paper work and changed there jobs. Only this time after raising concerns with OM they managed to put my application to the parole board. Everytime any IPP will have fear in them to ask probation or raise any concerns about any issues. Beacuse we are scared we might get recalled or say something which probation don’t like to hear.
    My last OS I asked him I want to go on hoilady with my wife he said I Have to do a full investigation of the area for any high risk situations and then we will consider. I just sat there how is that possible living in England and I want to go to Spain or somewhere else in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Do you think that is possible? How am supposed to do investigation???

  27. Hi Asif
    I made some enquiries: ending supervision while on IPP licence is an application to The Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS), part of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (basically probation Head Office), not the parole board. If your probation supervision ends, you will still be on licence however and that means you’re not allowed to travel outside the UK without permission. Although I can’t see how it can be your responsibility to risk assess yourself!
    Good luck
    Russell

  28. Hi Russell
    I have a query many people who are IPP they can’t handle the pressure of the sentence in the real world. Many have runaway or left the country. What happens to these people if they decide to hand themselves in. The pressure of this sentence no doubt there not everyone is made for it. People actually believe once your IPP if you get recalled for any reason there is no way the parole board will release you from prison again. Is this true. If you could reply back to this maybe some other IPP will read your reply and change his or her thinking about their future.

  29. Hi there
    It’s a very difficult situation of course. However, over a thousand IPPS have been recalled to prison AND re-released. Many have been recalled and released on several occasions. Obviously, someone who is going to hand themselves in should make contact with a solicitor first.
    Best wishes

  30. Thanks Mr Webster.
    Your doing good providing this platform for IPP’s to express and share.
    I served 10 .5 years behind the door.
    Original tariff 3 years 4 months.
    I completed a degree in Law /philosophy and attended some courses which Made sense and often still do.
    No individual can work out the mess for the IPP political survivors.
    If any Government really could they would not be in power because of the perception of prisoners.in the public.
    But there is hope and light.
    I know that it’s really really hard.
    Our lives can never be the same so we have to completely recalibrate our minds and redefine our roles in society.
    Our strength lies in the fact that we are conscious of experiencing an injustice of almost indescribable negativity.
    If we use that to give back.
    Help others, volunteer stay creative and loving.
    Be the better Individual and always strive for consciousness.
    Then the negativity will not drown us.
    The individuals in Government jobs who abuse those who genuinely regret their mistakes perpetuate ia manipulative swindle of fear and control.
    I experienced prison officers laughing at my parole denials.
    Alternately years later officers who supported me through my parole denials.
    Not knowing when was a torture.
    It could of broke me .
    We will all get out and we will have justice because we were frankly abused.
    Let’s show the individuals in Government a mirror image of the negativitythat we observe but choose not to ever react to.
    No self harm.
    No self blame.
    No blaming the Government Individuals either.
    Victory

  31. I was sentenced to an I.S.P.P In 2006 with a three year tariff, served six years nine months and released in 2013, I am approximately 10 weeks from the ten year mark and approached my offending manager hoping for a bit of insight into the process of terminating my licence, I was informed by here on no less than four occasions in 20 mins that I was only eligible for supervision to be removed and not the licence, I demanded a supervisor to verify my opinion only to find the supervisor had no idea of the process so I explained that they need to sort out this mess and get on the net to find details that I already knew, the paper was printed and I was vindicated, not a sorry from either of them and my offending manager still stated after reading the paperwork that she was certain it was about removal of supervision, I became quite emotional and removed myself from the situation because by this time my anxiety took hold and I was having a panic attack. I complained next day to a senior manager that My offending supervisor and made me feel anxious and depressed and that I do not feel I can work with her anymore, the manager told me that I will have to continue working with this lady. I have suffered from depression and anxiety since the commencement of the sentence because even though I had prior conviction prior to my crime, they were legally spent and minor. I am now in the position where I either (1) go to the appointment and my mental and physical health suffers because the panic attacks effect my breathing which in turn causes my C.O.P.D to flare up. (2) Not go to the appointment and be recalled for not engaging with probation or (3) Just neck my meds and not wake up to this nightmare, my crime although serious happened in my 30’s and I am now in my 50’s and still paying the price. I have not even been informed if I can contribute towards reports for the parole board. I am in the darkest place mentally since being in prison and even though I have told this to probation, they are just not interested, I have even started stocking up on meds in case they leave me with no choice because I will NOT sit in a room with my offending supervisor ever again for my own sanity. I can’t carry on like this and it seems impossible to get help.

  32. Thanks for getting in touch Mark. Very sorry to hear your story and disappointed to tell you that I have been contacted on a number of different occasions about this failure by the probation service to understand the rules around terminating IPP licences. While anyone can make a mistake, an apology on such an important issue would make a big difference. Do please try to get yourself some support., I always recommend UNGRIPP, the IPP campaign group which knows everything there is to know about IPPs. You can find them here: https://www.ungripp.com/
    Good luck with life after IPP (there really is such a thing)

  33. I am at my ten year mark on the I.S.P.P. licence, I have been referred by the secretary of state, Probation are in the process of preparing reports, in ten years my risk has always been medium until a few weeks ago when I dared to raise my voice in anger because my offending manager insisted I could not apply for termination of licence but could apply for removal of supervision, I have now been given a new officer who has promptly reduced me back to medium risk. In ten years, I have had not even received one warning from probation yet I am fairly certain they are not supporting my application (I will find out next week) My supervision for five years almost (apart from the last few weeks) has been roughly 20 mins every three months, I was offered release from supervision over two years ago, I refused on the basis that it was a worthless empty gesture. I have now been informed that the board can either remove my licence, remove some conditions (or change them) or remove supervision. Can I refuse if they offer just removal of supervision because yet again it would be a worthless gesture. Ultimately I want the licence removed but to be fair the supervision does not effect my life at all. I have remained crime free in ten years and it has been strongly hinted that probation are going to use lack of emotional control as the reasoning to not support me. Once in ten years, I have raised my voice in anger, after the anger I immediately logged an official complaint (now at stage two) and I am certain that is the real reason I will not be supported in my application.

  34. Hi Mark

    Good luck with your application. I do think the 10 year minimum licence is ridiculous but, as I’m sure you know, there doesn’t seem any prospect of the government removing it. Quite why so many probation officers still don’t know the rules around IPP is a mystery. I do understand that many probation staff have limited contact with IPPs, but it should be straightforward enough to check…
    If you feel like it, do let us know the outcome of your application.
    Best wishes

  35. Hi
    After waiting for almost 11 moinths just now Proabtion have submitted my end of probation order, becaus last 2 officer’s never done the there job left me hanging. My recent probation officer managed to her job I was just informed that my application has been signed of by Probation officer, probation manager and head of Probation and now gone to the parole board to see if they are ok for me to end my supervison order. When I contacted you last you said to me that this nothing to do with the parole board then why is probation telling me that now I have to wait for parole board for an answer.
    My last 2 officers left the application hanging and the probation never took any resposibility for not doing there job properly.
    This August it will be 8 years since I have been released from priosn as time has gone by they still treat you like the same as offender not like a human being who once made a mistake and now is a changed man. Very sad……

  36. The Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS) are we allowed to contact them or if they refuse an application am allowed to challenge there decioson?

    1. Hi Asif, I am sorry you are still fighting this battle. I am not an expert in this area which is getting increasingly more complicated. By far the best people to get in touch with are UNGRIPP, the campaign group to end IPP. They are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. You can find them at: https://www.ungripp.com/
      Good luck

  37. Can anyone help? I have reached the 10 year mark of my I.S,P.P licence on April 17th, My offending supervisor completing the reoports asked for an extension because she was new to my case, I have been informed the reports are now completed and I have asked no less than five occasions if I can read the reports, my supervisor keeps stating that she is unsure if she supplies me with a copy or the secretary of states supplies me with one. I am at my wits end because I can not get a straight answer, surely I am entitled to read the reports and challenge them if required. It is now nearly July and I just feel deflated by this, I have been informed that probation and mosovo are supporting my application to remove license but I have learned from the past not to trust them. Please can someone tell me the procedure and if I do have the right to see reports.

    1. Hi Mark, I am sorry that this is such a difficult process. I am not an expert in the legal details of this area. By far the best people to get in touch with are UNGRIPP, the campaign group to end IPP. They are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. You can find them at: https://www.ungripp.com/
      Good luck

  38. I could not make it up if I tried, I wrote here on the 25th, on the 27th I went to pick up the reports only to be informed that support is withdrawn but if I show emotional management for six months, they will support me next year, my supervisor states she is gutted but it was her superiors decision, I have had not so much as a warning for my behaviour in ten years of licence. My head is in the worst place it has been since actually being in prison serving, they are using one episode in Jan where I raised my voice in anger because my previous supervisor insisted I could not apply for removal of licence, I got an email today from probation asking me to send my representation and representation and IPP Licence Termination Representations Form to PEC team. I have had a week to complete my own representation because I was told I had support so no need for a solicitor. I was well and truly duped by my supervisor, I do not believe she did not know. I don’t want to live in fear again and can not understand why this has happened, up until Jan 30th I was on 20mins every three months, that is 80 mins a year, even when they get their way and I am knocked back, they would only have me for less than five hours supervision until my next hearing next April, They did this at the last minute and I do not know why unless they intend to have more time to find things that are not there. Certain this will be my last input here or anywhere but guys do not take the possible end of your licence lightly, I have not even a warning and they screwed me over, the thing is this time they won, I don’t have the fight left in me and I don’t intend to wake to this nightmare anymore, everything was sweet, I don’t lead a criminal life, I had made a home, I had moved on from my crime 17 years ago, it seems they have not.

  39. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the update and sorry that you weren’t in the position to share better news. It is, as you say, that the probation service can simultaneously say you are such a high risk that you have to remain on licence 10 years after release and you are such a low risk that they only need to see you for 20 minutes every thee months. Fingers crossed for better news in the (near) future.

  40. Hi Everyone
    Russell, thank you for your replies, they have helped. Bit of an update on my case, got a call yesterday that my case will be an oral hearing for the ten year stage of the ISPP. Sort of happy but nervous as hell, no date set yet but anyone been through the process? Simple questions like, who will attend? Will I be questioned? Can I ask questions? I realise I will be there and and my solicitor plus the panel but anyone else? I did not have a vast criminal past prior to the ISPP sentence back in 2006 so no knowledge really except the original hearing ten years ago but that was prison setting obviously. Any help would be appreciated.

  41. Hi Mark
    I asked Dr Laura Janes who is a prison law expert. She was kind enough to get back to me:
    “only six cases so far have been put forward for oral hearing so we are not yet clear how they will work – good he has a solicitor – he should ask his solicitor these questions”.
    Sorry not to be of more help, but try to ask you solicitor ahead of the hearing so you know what’s coming up.
    All the best

    1. I appreciate any help so thank you, my solicitor seems to think the probation service are scraping the barrel because I have not received as much as a warning in ten years. My solicitor seems on the ball but I have never felt so scared since actually serving the sentence. The probation service told me in May, I was being supported but by end of June I was informed support was removed and they want to see six months of emotional management, I think the board only arranged an oral because I pleaded with them. Once again thank you.

  42. Me again, I just got the parole paperwork through email and they are listing me soon, I have a question though, in the paperwork it states the parole board can either remove licence or remove supervision. Please can anyone tell me what removal of supervision is about? I need to know that if they remove supervision, will I still be able to apply for licence removal every year or will they keep me on licence for the rest of my life but without supervision? This has got me so worried so if anyone knows that would be great, if it does mean staying on licence for life without supervision, I intend to refuse and take my chances every year before the board. Any help will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Mark

      I’m pretty confident that they can remove licence, remove supervision or remove both (basically if they remove your licence, the supervision obviously goes too). The supervision part means you wouldn’t have to see probation. If they don’t remove your licence, then I am (almost 100%) sure you will still be able to apply to have your licence removed at a later date. If that happens, make sure you & your solicitor ask about the process. Provided you didn’t offend again, it’s hard to work out how they wouldn’t remove your licence if they do remove supervision only, because who are they going to ask about your risk? Make sure you ask your solicitor ahead of the hearing for expert legal advice.
      Good luck

      1. Once again russell, thank you, I have done the ten years without as much as a warning, my solicitor seems confident but I just cannot see any light when after ten years of not so much as a warning, they come up with trivial shit that my solicitor referred to as scraping the barrel. I am expecting a date very soon because the papers state it is to be prioritised. I think maybe because my ten years ran out in April. I will keep your site informed of the outcome. Once again, thank you, your help is a godsend.

  43. My son is an IPP prisoner who has done 16yrs over tariff, he would like to get in touch with you if that is possible. Please email me and I will pass on his details.
    Please continue to fight this deplorable sentence.

  44. If you (or a loved one) are on an IPP licence, please read the “Breaking News” section at the top of this post which describes Government plans to cut the licence period from 10 to 5 years. PLEASE note this is not yet law.

  45. Last time I posted in August, I explained that I received an email from the board stating my case was being prioritised. Now Mid December, still no confirmed date. With time served and Licence, I have been on this sentence for almost 18 years. It’s just cruel and mentally draining.

  46. Hi Mark
    Very sorry to hear that indeed. Thanks for keeping us updated, I just wish you were getting better news. Fingers crossed for much faster progress in the New Year

    1. No idea how this will affect me but certain some families need to good news in regards to this sentence, I hope this helps and brings you all some hope that your loved ones will get out. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/reforms-bring-hope-to-rehabilitated-people-still-serving-abolished-indefinite-sentences
      This sentence has had me at my lowest ever in the last year because no one could explain why after ten years of licence with no as much as a warning for my behaviour, that the probation would not support me based on three risk factors, my report was written without any consultation from me and the ombudsman has upheld two complaints that they just ignored me and my supervisor has been admonished and now has to received supervised sessions from her manager, Obviously I received a new supervisor and he stated the risk factors are not present yet they are still opposing the removal of licence. I am now on meds that would knock out a horse and I ended up standing on a local bridge and 4am ready to end this nightmare, I am on the mend (hopefully) but this sentence has almost destroyed me.

      1. Hi Mark
        Glad to hear you are on the mend but I know it has been a terrible year for you. Hopefully, you can get out ASAP and your licence will be ended when the new provisions kick in.
        Best of luck

  47. Little update, went to probation yesterday after sending him the new info regarding this sentence, ten minutes in and he states that I will now be fully supported in my application to remove my ISPP licence in January at my oral hearing, if anyone has been following my posts they will understand that support was there in April, removed in July with no explanation at all and now it has been given back, I think he expected me to thank him and be overjoyed. Part of me is but they have put me through hell this year to the point where I attempted the worse, They stated two minor risk factors were present when they removed support but now they are stating there is no evidence to support that statement. I desperately want to take legal action against them because a complaint about this was fully upheld within the probation service but nothing was rectified, I feel they have deliberately endangered my mental health further this year by their unreasonable behaviour. I do not know if I am my own worst enemy but when I was told about support being returned yesterday, I was very angry and did explain to him in a polite way to f*** their support, I went on (in tears) to tell him exactly how I felt about the treatment I have received, he was shocked, to say the least but it needed to be said, I tried my best to get him to understand my perspective on this but I think the humanity and empathy courses are no longer ran for them. Let them remove the Licence or not, at this stage, I honestly do not care because I fit the criteria perfectly for the new legislation and will be rid of this nightmare of a sentence sooner, rather than later.

  48. Hi Mark
    I absolutely understand your feelings of not being grateful for probation doing what it should have done in the first place, but please try not cut off your nose to spite your face! Getting the licence terminated will do wonders for your state of mind – be kind to yourself and make that a priority – please.
    Best Wishes

  49. Well what a horrible roller-coaster and not being able to get off in 19 years is a killer but I had my hearing last week, lasted less than a hour, if anyone has been following my thread, they would know that support was there from the probation service, then it was taken away, then reinstated and finally I got to tell the parole board my take on things, Was certain I did not do myself any favours by standing up for myself but got an email about 2 hours ago, stating my Licence is now revoked but there is a 21 days reconsideration period. I can’t believe it. I did it and on my own terms, they have had me by the balls for almost two decades and part of me still cannot believe it is over. I know others on licence will soon get it removed due to new legislations but something needs to be done now to help the recalled and never released prisoners. Many thanks for your support Russell. I can now do normal things like shoplifting in poundland.:-) only joking.

    1. Many congratulations Mark – what a great way to start the new year even if this should have happened years ago.
      Hope you slowly get used to the fact that you’re not at risk of recall every minute of the day.
      All the best for 2024 Mark and thanks for sharing your story here. Hopefully, some others will take heart that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
      All the best
      Russell

      1. Thank you russell, it is my wish also that by sharing it gives hope to those in utter despair about this despicable sentence.

  50. Please help me I done 10 years on a 2 year ipp I got out 7 years ago and now am scared to death of losing my life again. Police want to speak to me regarding an allegation but I promise I’ve not done a thing I was a supervisor of a well know high end leisure facility, police came to my house so now my landlord wants me to leave. I pay taxes and give my blood… I’m 35 now not 18 why does my own country seem to destroy my life I am contemplating going to Scotland when I may have a chance to not be subject to this life long torture of not knowing when or how one day your whole life will be taken….I cannot walk in and not see daylight again for 10 years I’ve been out 7 years not a single thing wrong no arrest nothing yet my life feels over and I cannot bear it mentally it’s horrific I cannot win my country hates me and I don’t deserve it my heart is good and I hope someone sees that…

  51. Hi

    I’ve been following Mark Kemps stressful journey and was wondering which solicitors he had to represent him.

    My son did his 10 years in May 2023. The Probation Service had put his paperwork forward and were in agreement to terminate the IPP tariff. However, my son has just received a letter from the Parole Board saying they have refused his case.

    I have tried to contact solicitors but have been told they don’t do IPP cases in community only prison. My son was not told anything about representation or completing any paperwork for his own representation.

    Donuou know if he has a case to appeal. I believe he has 21 days but there are rules as to why you can appeal. Thank you. We would be grateful for any advice on his current situation.

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