from The Magistrate’s Blog by Bystander Team
This blog wrote some years ago about the mismanagement of IPP (Indefinite for Public Protection) sentences. After five years and more in which everyone in the system could forsee exactly what would happen, the issue has resurfaced (via a European judgment) and bitten the Government on the backside.
This is a classic example of political cowardice that no party can be proud of. Put simply, we introduced a system of indefinite custody for dangerous offenders, fundamental to which was putting prisoners through courses to address their offending, and assessing when they could safely be released. So far, so praiseworthy, but governments closed their eyes to the fact that only a minority of prisons were resourced to provide those courses. Meanwhile many men simply rotted in prison, with no hope of release because no course was available. Now, faced with indifference in the UK, some have taken their cases to Europe and won.
We can expect the Sun and the rest to spin this as an anti-Europe, pampering-the-lags story, but it is nothing of the sort. The ministers and civil servants who left these men’s cases mouldering in the too-difficult file are going to cost us millions.