The Indeterminate Sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP)
This page aims to highlight some background information regarding mental health issues and the use of the law in general and Bipolar Affective Disorder in particular by providing links to other sites and web-articles.
The IPP Campaign website is temporarily out of action, however, the campaign continues!
Please contact Linda for updates on their activities:
Linda can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will forward any messages from the IPP Campaign and let supporters know of progress.
Press Release from INQUEST 22nd June 2012
Inquest held on Shaun Beasley, a prisoner with an IPP with severe mental health issues.
See Justice for Joe supporters preparing for the March to the Houses of Parliament in support of the IPP Prisoners Campaign 7 March 2012.
The two points below are taken from the JUSTICE response to the Government Sentencing Green Paper: "Breaking the Cycle: Effective Punishment, Rehabilitation and Sentencing of Offenders" (Read the full document as a pdf)
15. In relation to IPP/DPP, we believe that these sentences should not merely be restricted but should be abolished. They have proved unworkable in practice, are little understood by prisoners or the public and are likely to have an extremely damaging psychological effect upon many of those subject to them, which is both of concern in itself and an impediment to effective rehabilitation. We are particularly concerned that the criteria for 'dangerousness' make it more likely that such a sentence will be imposed if an offender is suffering from mental illness. Further, we especially oppose the use of detention for public protection for children and young people under 18, since to label a child as 'dangerous' at the start of a long sentence fails to take into account the child's development as they progress towards adulthood, and the psychological impact of an uncertain, potential life, sentence upon a child will be particularly grave. Life sentences (whether IPP/DPP or discretionary or mandatory 'life' sentences) should be reserved for a small number of the most serious adult offenders where both a very long period in prison is justified by the seriousness of the offence (on grounds of harm and culpability) and the lifelong licence period is justified by the ongoing risk to the public - as demonstrated by the offence for which the person is being sentenced and their offending history. Traditionally, this was recognised by the fact that only a small number of offences carried a potential life sentence and for most of these a life sentence would only be imposed for the most serious examples of these offences. In our view, this was the appropriate position. The 'dangerous offenders' provisions extended the possibility of life sentences into cases where they were being imposed to restrain potential future conduct without being required to reflect proven past conduct.
16. The CJA 2003's 'extended sentences' for 'dangerous offenders' (where the licence period is extended) are less damaging than IPP/DPP but our concerns about the dangerousness criteria still apply. If IPP/DPP are to be retained we welcome the indication that the release test may be reformed; the extremely low release rate for these prisoners demonstrates how difficult it is to demonstrate sufficient reduction of risk, particularly in circumstances where prisoners often do not have access to the appropriate courses.
Our campaign is supported by the following major mental health and criminal justice organisations and we are grateful for their ongoing advice and support.
Rethink Mental Illness
The Howard League for Penal Reform
The Prison Reform Trust
The Centre for Mental Health
MDF - The Bipolar Organisation - MDF is the national charity dedicated to supporting individuals with the much misunderstood and devastating condition of bipolar, their families and carers.
Blogs and articles from The Justice Gap website: www.thejusticegap.com and Prisoners Advice website: www.prisonersadvice.org.uk
Access to Justice by Shami Chakrabarti - The Justice Gap
No Going Back - Michael Mansfield
"IPP is a flawed policy with a flawed execution" - JUSTICE calls for fundamental reform of 'flawed' system of IPP sentencing (pdf)
A Chance for Better Jails - Frances Crook the Guardian 9 June 2011
Certain Criteria Beat DSM-IV in Identifying Bipolar Disorder in Major Depression
Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed Late in Children and Adolescents
Patients at risk as hospital and care home Inspections are cut - Nina Lakhani 14 September 2011 The Independent on Sunday
Fatal Consequences of Benefit changes - Letter to the Guardian 1 June 2011
"State must keep Care not Custody promise" Letter to the Guardian 11 March 2011
"Fears grow over care of mentally ill as GP's say they don't want the job" Letter to the Guardian 18 July 2010
"Doctors failing to identify bipolar disorder, says medicine watchdog" - Sarah Hall, Health Correspondent, The Guardian, Wednesday 26 July 2006
Andy Burnham: A health plan fit for Daniel Hannan (18 July 2010 the Independent)
What is Bipolar Disorder? - Royal College of Psychiatrists
Women's Institute - Care not Custody
For more information email email@example.com