HMPPS and the Parole Board keep the joint IPP action plan under continuous review so as to ensure that the actions in it meet the changing needs of the IPP population. Initially, the focus of the joint action plan was principally to make the parole system more efficient and to eradicate the substantial backlog of oral hearings, which had built up in the Board for IPP and life sentence offenders. A summary of the Joint IPP Action Plan will be placed in the House library.
In 2017/18 the Ministry of Justice increased the Parole Board’s budget by £3.361m. The additional funding enabled the Board to induct and train over 100 new members and to hear more cases each month, so clearing a backlog. In October 2018, the Parole Board received an additional £1.5m to enable them to conduct additional hearings. This extra funding has delivered substantial improvements to the efficiency of the process, so that prisoners serving IPP sentences have their cases heard as quickly as is appropriate.
In November 2016, we secured £100 million investment to fund the recruitment of additional prison officers and deliver the Offender Management in Custody Model (OMiC). This has introduced key workers, who have a vital role in supporting IPP prisoners. They, and the introduction of qualified case managers in prison for prisoners serving longer term sentences, including IPP prisoners, will improve the way we support prisoners through their sentences.