The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue April 2011
I am a 2-strike automatic lifer, sentenced in 2000 with a tariff of 3 years, and, 11 years later, I’m still here! I’ve watched and listened to all the debates about IPPs and yes I feel for them. But, while everyone is fighting for the rights of IPPs because they are going over tariff, it seems that us automatic lifers have just been completely lost in the system, not just one or two years over tariff either – I’m 8 years over tariff!!!
I was due a parole hearing in January but have now been told it will ‘probably’ be May or June – though I’m used to this by now. All my reports recommend open conditions but my OASYs risk has been raised to ‘high risk’ to the public. I have completed every course, done the RAPT treatments and spent 2 years in psychotherapy. Probation have raised my level to high risk ‘because of the seriousness of offending’, and this is because of the unfairness of my PCL-R which has haunted every one of my parole dossiers since 2004. Thankfully this time I have a fantastic psychiatrist on my side – Dr Bob Johnson, who regularly contributes to Inside Time, and he has written an independent report stating his belief that I am of minimal risk. So we shall see.
But just have a thought for 2-strike automatic lifers, the provisions under which we were sentenced does not even exist anymore, and yet most of us are still rotting in jail.
Comments about this letter
29/3/2011 SimonIt is sad to hear more and more stories like this, but not surprising. I met many inmates in this situation during my time inside - e.g. an guy who got a 9 month tariff under the 2-strike rule and had served 9 years when I was released. The parole system is over-run and cannot cope with the amount of inmates on life. The introduction of the IPP sentence has just made it far worse especially as, due to the media attention, they are constantly given priority which pushes the lifers further back.
12/4/2011 a person that caresI WISH YOU LUCK MARIA
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