The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue February 2012

Imprisonment for Public Protection or Incompetent Prison Psychology?

From H (name supplied) – HMP Stafford

I am beginning to wonder whether the term IPP actually means Incompetent Prison Psychology! There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the psychology department here at HMP Stafford as its behaviour never ceases to amaze me. I am currently an IPP prisoner beginning my 7th year of what was initially a 2½ year tariff. I was made to do the SOTP course despite not being sentenced for that type of offence. Nonetheless I completed the course to the best of my ability and did so almost 7 months ago. Having completed the course I am still waiting for psychology to complete my SARN (Structured Assessment of Risk and Need) report which should have been done within weeks of finishing the course. My SARN has not even been started as I write. Also, this report is supposed to be compiled by an independent psychologist and not the course facilitator.

So, I find myself, many years after my tariff has expired, still in prison and awaiting a report which will highlight risks and needs for an offence which warrants doing the SOTP, but I did not commit such an offence. My case was based purely on what ‘could’ have happened and not on what actually happened. So when, and if, I eventually get my SARN report it will highlight risks I never had in the first place. My Probation Officer is supporting my release but the Parole Board need my SARN report before they can make a decision. So this begs the question – am I Imprisoned for Public Protection, or am I merely imprisoned because of Incompetent Prison Psychology? You decide.

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Comments about this letter

5/2/2012 Amanda Goodall - -

I empathise 100% and do find that I feel you have a valid point. My IPP is currently experiencing a very similar ordeal as to his case also based on "suspected" evidence & not actual evidence. I am now one of two campaign co-ordinators for IPP Prisoners Campaign & we are campaigning for determinate sentences for IPP Prisoners, in the past 7 days I have created a website so that we are world wide for obtaining support of the public with a link on the site to a petition to obtain 10,000 signatures to ensure that action IS taken. We also now have merchandise for campaigning, raising awareness of IPP as still hardly anybody knows about IPP and the inhumanities it carries with it. But, more importantly we are now getting publicity - I am arranging live interviews on radio stations, the first one being on Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 8.25am on Ipswich Community Breakfast Radio - so as to raise awareness to grow our campaign to fight for all IPP's including you. The website is listed with my details. This is just the beginning of our fight, after protesting in London outside the houses of parliament on 24th January, our group was somewhat on the small side & although we managed to raise some eyebrows and a couple of Lords & MP's drew back curtains to engage in what we were fighting for, this appeared inadequate as it did not even make local news headlines. We know that LASPO is at this time going through parliament and we have a short time scale of 11 weeks to achieve action and grow, so approx 500 of us are campaigning in our local areas, as well as arranging to go live on air and trying to get televised. Please feel welcome to write to myself at 24 Chevallier Street, Ipswich IP1 2PD. I will keep you updated on developments and outcomes of our campaign. Also, please feel free to let others and their families know about our campaign & website & remember that we are fighting your corner too.
I look forward to hearing from you & I will reply to all letters I receive.
Be strong and keep focused.
Amanda Goodall

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Summary of letters in the Mailbag for February 2012
Parole Board want us to be robots
Campaign for a better prison phone system
Traveller’s credit
Courses should be available to ALL!
Courses should count for something
1992, a very bad year
Current page: Imprisonment for Public Protection or Incompetent Prison Psychology?
Second class citizen
The care of mentally ill prisoners in our prisons
Landing officers
Get off the bandwagon
Sports tops banned
Setting the record straight
Lights out!
Health Champions role at HMP Onley
British law accepts a tautology
Same Sex Marriage in prison
Pregnant and in prison
It’s nice to be nice!
Defending ‘junkies’ like me
Scabies epidemic at HMP Durham?
No justice for Michael Stone, but justice for others?
Manipulation of prescription drugs
Justice for Stephen
Institutional racism
***STAR LETTER*** Good and bad in everyone
What’s in a name?
Public Enemies


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