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. This page
guides you through the process.

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Is there really a way to end my IPP sentence?

Yes. You have the right to apply to end your licence 10 years after your first release from prison on the IPP sentence, even if you have been recalled since then. You can re-apply every 12 months.

How do I apply?

You have the right to apply directly to the Parole Board, and the final decision rests with them. To apply:

  1. Tell Probation that you are making an application. You do not have to do this, but they will be told anyway. It may help your case if you discuss it, and they support you.

  2. Email info@paroleboard.gov.uk or write to The Parole Board, Floor 3, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4PU, to tell them that you would like to apply for a licence review. Give your name, prison number and contact details. If you prefer, you can use our template application – click here.

  3. The Parole Board will inform Probation, and request information from different agencies about you. Probation must supply a report, even if they do not support your application. The victim of your crime may be invited to give a statement.  

  4. You have the right to tell the Parole Board why you think your licence should be ended. This is called ‘making representations’. You can tell them when you apply, or within 7 days of applying. You can also ask your solicitor to do this for you.

  5. The Parole Board will either decide on papers or at an oral hearing. They can decide to lift your licence, make changes to your licence, or refuse your application.

If you do not want to contact the Parole Board directly, you can ask your Probation Officer to start the application process instead. They cannot apply for you, but they must help you to submit the application if you ask them to.

What if my Probation Officer does not support my application?

It will help your case if Probation support you, so it is worth talking to them. But you have the legal right to make an application regardless of their view, and the final decision rests with the Parole Board.

What will the Parole Board consider?

The Parole Board must decide ‘whether it is necessary for the protection of the public that the licence should remain in force.’ To help them decide this, they may consider:

  • What has happened since you were first released from prison.

  • How you have addressed risk factors, and how stable your life is currently.

  • If you have been recalled, they will look at the reasons, and what you have done since then.

  • What your supervision has been like.

  • Why you had any previous applications refused.

  • Whether you pose any risk of serious harm.

  • Whether your Probation Officer supports your application, and the quality of the evidence that they provide.

What if my application is successful? 

All of your licence conditions are ended and cannot be reimposed. If you commit another offence it will be dealt with separately. In effect – you are no longer serving an IPP sentence.

What if my application is unsuccessful?

You can re-apply to the Parole Board to have your licence ended every 12 months. It is not currently clear whether hearings about IPP licences can be reviewed under the Parole Board Reconsideration Mechanism, which can be used to challenge outcomes believed to be procedurally unfair or irrational – to read about the mechanism click here. We are trying to find out, and in the meantime we suggest asking your solicitor.

How likely am I to get my licence ended?

That really depends on your situation. Hundreds of people are eligible to apply, but only 45 have. 26 of them were successful (by April 2022). Things that are likely to help your case are:

  • No recalls, breaches or further offences.

  • Stable life.

  • Completed your sentence plan.

  • You have a good plan for managing your risk factors.

  • You are managing well on reduced Probation supervision.

  • Your Probation Officer supports your application.

Can I get legal support for my application?

You can try contacting a member of the Association of Prison Lawyers. Many specialise in supporting people serving an IPP (even if they are no longer in prison). Click below to search their list or write to:

PO Box 46199, London, EC1M 4XA.

Association of Prison Lawyers