‘Mental anguish’ and wider problems with IPP sentences | Letters

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Nicolas Sanderson, who was involved in the creation of the sentence, corrects a common mistake. Mark Day says the government should eradicate this stain on our justice system

I would like to correct a widely repeated mistake about the indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP), to the effect that it was “applied far more widely than intended” (‘Psychological torture’: call for reform after jail death, 10 January). I am the former head of policy in the Prison Service, and was involved in the creation of the sentence.

IPP was the invention of David Blunkett in 2001, against the advice of officials. He rejected the scheme for violent or sexual offenders proposed in a Home Office review of sentencing (Making Punishments Work), namely a determinate sentence with a review of the release date by the Parole Board, and a supervisory period that could be extended by the court.

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