Lord Wigley – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Wigley on 2014-04-03.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Imprisonment for Public Protection prisoners were imprisoned at the latest date available date; how many of those were beyond the tariff; and of those beyond their tariff, how many (1) have completed rehabilitation programmes courses successfully, (2) have been on rehabilitation courses but have not completed them successfully, (3) have been offered rehabilitation courses but are awaiting their completion, and (4) have not been offered rehabilitation courses.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire

The Parole Board assesses the risk posed by individual prisoners when considering their release or transfer to open conditions, and work that has been completed to reduce these risks, rather than only looking at whether specific offending behaviour programmes (OBPs) have been completed. It is not mandatory for Indeterminate Sentence Prisoners to complete OBPs in order to achieve release. Other work that may help to reduce risk may take the form of accredited OBPs; however, it may also include activities such as education or training, work, one to one sessions with a psychologist and a range of other interventions. Although in some circumstances an OBP may be the preferred option, the Parole Board may consider that an offender has reduced their risk of harm, despite not being able to attend a particular course, because they have been able to undertake other offending behaviour work which has achieved the same outcome.

As at 31 December 2013 there were 5,335 prisoners serving an Indeterminate Sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection, of which 3,561 were beyond the tariff.

Of these prisoners beyond tariff, 3,160 had completed at least one accredited offending behaviour programme successfully; 415 had attended a programme and not completed it successfully and of these, 62 had yet to complete any programme successfully; and 184 are currently attending a programme and the outcome is not yet known.

The figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

No information is collected on how many prisoners have not been offered an accredited offending behaviour programme and this could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.