Quote of the month

“My OASys document states that it is worrying that I am in denial and I lack any motivation to address my offending behaviour… I have also been informed I probably won’t get to a Cat D because I am maintaining innocence” (Recent letter to PPMI from a prisoner).    September 2019

 

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

  • 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
  • JENGbA newsletter: the latest JENGbA (JointEnterpriseNotGuilybyAssociation) newsletter is available.  For more information and to get a copy, please visit their website: http://www.jointenterprise.co or email: jointenterpriseinfo@gmail.com
  • Inside Time, June 2019.  There is a new 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.