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JUSTICE          REFORM          SUPPORT   

Our perspective on the IPP is simple:

The state of the sentence now, undermines its ability to achieve anything meaningful.

A banned sentence cannot rehabilitate, protect or punish.

But it does cause pain, damage, and waste money.





The IPP sentence should be abolished retrospectively, and every person serving an IPP should be resentenced according to the principle of proportional punishment.

UNGRIPP, along with the public, those given an IPP and their families, believe that the crimes committed by those given the sentence should not be ignored. To do so would be to ignore the harm inflicted on victims, and society’s commitment to bringing those who break the law to justice.

We believe that justice needs to be restored to those who were given an |PP. That means giving them a proportionate sentence. Once their punishment is served, we believe they should be fully restored to society, and given tailored help to stay there.

We call upon HM Government to pass legislation requiring the resentencing of every person still serving an IPP sentence. This should be a determinate sentence or a life sentence, whichever best reflects their crime under current sentencing provisions.

If a person serving an IPP sentence has already served the number of years deemed proportionate to their crime, arrangements should be made immediately for their release, with adequate preparation for their reception into the community.


Whilst it continues to exist, the license portion of the IPP sentence should be reformed to make it fit for purpose.

The Parole Board has increased the number of those serving an IPP deemed safe to be released from prison in recent years. But it is clear that the license section of the IPP sentence is unhelpful. A unique set of circumstances demands a unique solution.

We believe that as long as IPP sentences continue to exist, their license needs to address their unique circumstances of injustice, uncertainty and psychological damage caused by the sentence, as well as their personal circumstances and needs.

We call upon the Ministry of Justice to explicitly acknowledge that they are managing a set of people damaged by a banned sentence, and to adjust their license conditions to take account of this. Restoring proportionality, certainty, and due process should be done where possible.

This might include any of the following:

  • Make recalls fixed term, not indefinite.​

  • Require Parole Board approval for recall.

  • Restrict use of recall for minor breaches. 

  • Allow the removal of IPP licenses after 5 years or a set number of years proportional to the original offence.


Every person who was given an IPP should receive a full package of support, that reflects the damage caused by the sentence.

It is clear that the IPP sentence has created more problems for those who were given it , in addition to those they may have had before. Many have developed substance addiction and mental health problems as a result of the sentence. Many have experienced family breakdown, and families that remain have also suffered chronic stress, strain and despair. While it continues to exist, the sentence is raising a generation of children with semi-absent fathers (and some mothers), and no faith in the justice system. None of these conditions help people move on from crime.

We believe that every person who have been given an IPP deserves redress from the state, for damage caused by the state. That means that the state should offer support on the basis of making up for the damage it has done, as well as reducing reoffending. Support received by them should have this principle interwoven.

We call upon HM Government to develop a full package of support for all those who were given an IPP and their families, which is targeted at restoring health and hope, as much as at reducing reoffending.

This might include any of the following:

  • Creation of a specialised IPP multi-agency support team which adopts a health-focused approach, rather than a risk-focused approach.

  • Allocation of a substantial budget to holistically support those given an  IPP and their families with mental health, substance abuse, housing, employment and community reintegration. This should specifically include support to cope with the damaging impact of the sentence.

  • Training staff to recognise how people subjected to indefinite, unjust detention might feel and behave, and how to support them appropriately.


Find out ways that you can get involved and help to make some change.

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