Quote of the month

Half of the Life or IPP sentence prisoners who have written to us are more than 4 years over tariff.  All attribute their lack of progress to the fact that they are maintaining innocence.    October 2019   (From PPMI records)

 

Innocent?

Miscarriages of justice happen. Even in the best legal systems. Most people believe that there are systems in place to put things right. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) was set up following the notorious cases of the Guilford 4 and the Birmingham 6 to do just that.

But it doesn’t work like that in reality. The CCRC is often unable to help victims of wrongful conviction. The prisoner has been found guilty by a court and therefore remains guilty in the eyes of the public as well as the Criminal Justice System; and it does not stop there.

Release from prison on tariff expiry (the minimum term set by the judge) for those serving life or indeterminate sentences is usually only from Category D prisons, unless exceptional circumstances apply.  This means that, to achieve release, a prisoner must first progress from a higher category (A or B) to a lower category (D).  But recat and parole decisions rely on risk-assessments, and these are based on findings of guilt – there are no tools for those maintaining innocence.  For this reason, release can be more difficult to achieve for these prisoners, and there are some who serve many years beyond tariff expiry.  Similar problems are faced by prisoners serving a determinate sentence with a parole element (usually the last third of the sentence).

Our Aim

To challenge the policy and practice in the current system through which prisoners who maintain their innocence are reviewed and progressed.

Objectives

News and Views

  • An evening in the pub: with entertainment, at the Bread and Roses, Clapham, London, on 7 December 2019.   Please join us.  See opposite and Events tab for details
  • PPMI AGM.  We held our AGM on Tuesday 17 September.  There was a good attendance and a lively discussion.  The annual report is available, please click on the Reports tab.
  • Submission to Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice.  PPMI has submitted a report for the commission.    The Commission is interested in learning from anyone with personal experience of the CCRC – both those who have been wrongly convicted and their families or friends.   For further details please click on https://appgmiscarriagesofjustice.wordpress.com
  • Inside Time, June 2019.  There is a PPMI article on p.42 of the prisoners’ newspaper: “Prisoners maintaining innocence blocked by poor risk assessments”. It is available on the Inside Time website.