The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue April 2011

Still rotting in jail

From Lisa-Marie Savage – HMP Send

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.

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Comments about this letter

29/3/2011 Simon

It 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.
I genuinely believe (and have done for a long time) that any lifer/IPP should be automatically placed into open conditions at the expiry of their tariff unless the parole board can be persuaded that there is an immediate risk to public safety by doing so. That way the onus would be on the parole board and the MOJ to ensure that they are ready for parole hearings on time. It would also lead to lifers actually being released and given a chance, rather than left to rot, as there aren't enough spaces in the open estate.
I wish Lisa-Marie all the best in, at least, getting progression to open conditions.

12/4/2011 a person that cares


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Summary of letters in the Mailbag for April 2011
Know the law
Charlie Bronson – labelled by the media
Access to our data
CCRC will be destroyed by Bamber
Food wasted as people starve
Current page: Still rotting in jail
I am not a sex offender
Injured and abandoned
Snide comments
Licence recalls costing taxpayers millions
Rehabilitation, not medication
Poor excuse for splitting up a family
We should hang our heads in shame
A picture of my life
The blind leading the blind
Gilfoyle is not the only one
Prescott should wake up
Not so independent?
Keep the money, I want to vote!
Police: A law unto themselves
Not welcome in Dave’s ‘Big Society’
Prisoners should have voting rights
MoJ shoots itself in the foot over votes fiasco
British ‘justice’ – don’t make me laugh
Fight for your rights!
Caught bang-to-rights!!!
Thank you, Zoe
Like the McPherson Report never happened


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