Trapped: The IPP Prisoner Scandal

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  • 10. What Does Hope Look Like?

    The IPP sentence has created a sense of hopelessness amongst prisoners, leading to poor mental health, self-harm and numerous suicides, so we are ending this series by asking ‘what does hope look like’ for IPP serving prisoners? Sam asks this question to some of the many people who are campaigning to bring an end to this grievous injustice: including Andrea Coomber, from the Howard League for Penal Reform; Richard Garside from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies; Simon Hattenstone from the Guardian and Elisabeth Davies from the Independent Monitoring Boards. We also hear from Frank, an IPP serving prisoner, who has been inside for 15 years and counting, on a two-and-a-half-year tariff.  Get in touch on X, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_PodFor more info about UNGRIPP visit: / / X @ActionIPPContributors in order of appearance:Frank, IPP serving prisonerLord David BlunkettAndrea Coomber, Chief Executive, The Howard League for Penal ReformHank Rossi, campaigner and activistSimon Hattenstone, Journalist, The GuardianRichard Garside, Director of Centre for Crime and Justice StudiesElizabeth Davies, National Chair of the Independent Monitoring BoardsLorna Hackett, Barrister at Hackett and Dabbs LLP and a tenant at Millennium ChambersAlexander Horne, Barrister and visiting Professor at Durham UniversityVoices in Archive:Edward Argar MP, Minister of State for Prisons, Parole and ProbationSir Bob Neil MP, Chair of the Justice Select CommitteeKevin Brennan MP, Shadow Minister for Victims and SentencingJohn Mcdonnell MPDr Alice Edwards, UN Special Rapporteur on TortureCredits:Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiA Zinc Media Production for the Institute of Now

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  • 9. Set up to Fail

    Nicole, Madison and Matthew Price's stories.Nicole and Madison both served Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences. Now out on licence, Sam meets these two women in Parliament, whilst trying to lobby their MPs. She hears about life inside female prisons and how they are both doing now. As of December 2022, there were 40 women in custody serving IPP sentences. Sam also talks to Emma McClure and Andrew Sperling, criminal lawyers who represented Matthew Price, who was on licence when he took his own life in May 2023. They describe the terror that Matthew faced knowing he could be recalled back to prison at any time. It's situation that is not unique for IPP serving prisoners on licence: to date, 19 people serving IPP sentences in the community have taken their own lives since 2020.Read Matthew Price’s 'cry for help' email here: Get in touch on X, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_PodFor more info on the campaign for justice for IPPs: visit UNGRIPP: / @UNGRIPPand IPP Committee in Action / @ActionIPPContributors in order of appearance:Madison, IPP prisoner on licenceNicole, IPP prisoner on licenceEmma McClure, Consultant Solicitor with SL5 Legal @Parole_Lawyer@mastadon.worldAndrew Sperling, Solicitor-Advocate and Managing Director of SL5 Legal / @AndrewSperlingProduction credits:Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiA Zinc Media Production for the Institute of Now
  • 8. Walking on Eggshells

    What's life like for IPP prisoners on licence? Mark Conway and Andrew Morris both describe it as ‘walking on eggshells’. Mark Conway intervened in the terror attack at London Bridge in 2019, tackling Usman Khan who was subsequently shot dead by armed police. Mark's first call was to his parole officer because he was worried he might get recalled to prison for breaching his licence conditions. Andrew Morris says he is frustrated at the lack of will to end the needless deaths of IPPs, one being his friend ‘Danny’ whose death Andrew describes as "inexcusable and unforgivable." Both Mark and Andrew say they are some of the 'lucky ones' as they have survived a sentence which has broken so many others.  Sam also speaks to criminologist Sophie Ellis about the prisoner / psychologist relationship and her complicated feelings about having been part of administering the IPP sentence.Get in touch on X, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_PodFor more info about UNGRIPP visit: / @UNGRIPPContributors in order of appearance:Mark Conway, IPP prisoner on licence Andrew Morris, IPP prisoner on licenceSophie Ellis, Criminologist and Ph.D. researcher at Cambridge University @Psych_SEllisLord Daniel Moylan @danielmgmoylan Voices in Archive:Alex Chalk KC MPSir Bob Neill MPABC News - Citizens take down terrorist on London BridgeCredits:Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiA Zinc Media Production for the Institute of Now
  • 7. Appealing the Sentence: IH’s Story

    How IH fought and won the legal appeal against his DPP sentence.IH is one of the few people who has successfully appealed against his DPP sentence. DPP stands for ‘Detention for Public Protection’, it works just like IPPs, but it was given to people who were under the age of 18 at the time of their conviction. IH served a DPP sentence for 16 years before he won his appeal. He was represented by Farrhat Arshad at Doughty Street Chambers. Today Sam meets IH and Farrhat to talk about fighting and winning his appeal, and the growing impediments that prison lawyers are facing in doing this kind of work.Meanwhile, following an initiative run by IPP campaigners to gain support for their cause from the UN, in September 2023 Dr Alice Edwards, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, released a statement saying she had written to the UK government condemning the IPP sentence, saying "for many, these sentences have become cruel, inhuman and degrading." With rising awareness about this miscarriage of justice, pressure continues to grow on the government to take further action on IPPs. Get in touch with the Trapped team on X, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_PodFor more info about the campaign for IPP justice, visit: | @UNGRIPPContributors in order of appearance:'IH', former DPP PrisonerLord Daniel Moylan, Conservative Peer @danielmoylan.comFarrhat Arshad, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers | @DoughtyStCrime | Team:Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiArtwork: The BrightsideA Zinc Media production for the Institute of Now
  • 6. Bogus Diagnosis

    Bernadette and Abdulahi's story, plus Sam explores mental health treatment for IPPs and the now controversial Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway.Sam travels to Cardiff to meet Bernadette, whose husband Abdulahi received an IPP sentence in 2005. His original tariff was two years and he has been recalled back to prison four times. Abdulahi was born in Somalia and moved to the UK as a child. He is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and his mental health has deteriorated since being in prison and because of the anxiety-inducing uncertainty of his IPP sentence. Sam also gets a call from an IPP serving prisoner we are calling Mitch. He was released in 2018 after 11 years and was recalled back to prison the same year for breaching licence conditions. We also hear from James Daly MP, prison and parole solicitor, Dean Kingham and Senior Lecturer in law at the University of York, Ailbe O’Louhglin, who explains the history of the Offender Personality Disorder (OPD) pathway, which is now considered controversial amongst many psychologists and psychiatrists.Get in touch with the team on X, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_PodFor more info about the campaign to end IPP sentences visit UNGRIPP: / @UNGRIPPContributors in order of appearance:Bernadette Emmerson, wife of Abdulahi, an IPP serving prisoner 'Mitch', IPP serving prisoner James Daly MPDean Kingham, Prison and Parole SolicitorGraham Towl, Professor of forensic psychology at Durham UniversityAilbe O’Louhglin, Senior Lecturer in law at the University of YorkDr Jo Shingler, Forensic Psychologist Shirley Debono, IPP Committee in ActionVoices in Archive:Alex Chalk KC MPCredits:Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiArtwork: The BrightsideA Zinc Media production for the Institute of Now
  • 5. 'Dear Tommy': The Inquest

    Donna and Tommy’s story and why so many IPP serving prisoners have taken their own lives.Tommy Nicol was serving an IPP sentence for robbery and when his tariff expired and he still wasn’t released from prison, he took his own life. Tommy is just one of many: the total number of IPP serving prisoners who had taken their own lives by the end of 2022 was 81. Today Sam investigates the human stories behind these stark statistics. Sam visits the ‘SoulsINQUEST’ exhibition in Brixton’s 198 Gallery to speak to INQUEST’s Director, Deborah Coles and look at their exhibition highlighting state violence, death, grief and resistance. It includes a tribute to Tommy, written by his sister Donna Mooney, and a photograph of a bike which signifies ‘the wheel of pain’. After Tommy's death, Donna became involved in setting up the campaigning organisation UNGRIPP, the ‘United Group for the Reform of IPPs'. Sam also meets Sir Bob Neil to talk about the evidence gathered by the Justice Select Committee’s IPP report on self-harm and suicide. And we hear Labour’s John McDonnell raise the issue in parliament: they both highlight how IPP sentences create a sense of hopelessness, pushing many serving them over the edge. Lord David Blunkett, the architect of the IPP sentence, is posed a hard-hitting question by a former IPP prisoner. This episode is dedicated to the memory of the men and women who have taken their own lives whilst serving IPP sentences. Get in touch on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook or Instagram @Trapped_Pod For more info about UNGRIPP visit: / @UNGRIPP For more information about INQUEST visit: / @INQUEST_ORG Contributors in order of appearance: Donna Mooney, IPP campaigner and sister of Tommy NicolDeborah Coles, Director of Inquest @DebatINQUESTSir Bob Neil MP @neill_bobGraham Towl @ProfGrahamTowlLord David Blunkett @LordBlunkett Voices in archive:John McDonnell MP Reporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank Rossi
  • 4. A Catch-22

    Roddy and Robert Russell’s story, plus Sam explores why IPP serving prisoners are finding it so hard to get released by the parole board.Roddy Russell first found out what an IPP sentence was in 2011 when his brother, Robert didn't come home after serving 2-and-a-half-year tariff for a threat to kill. The brothers grew up in the Forest of Dean – and Roddy left as soon as he was old enough for a career in the RAF, whilst Robert went down a different path and has been in prison for the last 14 years, serving an indefinite imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence. Today Roddy travels back to the Forest of Dean to meet Robert's friends and former co-workers as he takes on his latest battle to help get his brother released.To understand why IPPs are finding it so hard to get released by the parole board, Sam meets the lawyer Andrew Sperling and former prison officer Sam Samworth. Samworth, who explains what prison life is like for people serving IPP sentences and how vulnerable they are. Hank Rossi of the Institute of Now and Richard Garside, Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, discuss the barriers that prisoners face when approaching a parole review. It’s a Catch-22 says Garside, the problems IPPs face get reproduced over time with no obvious way out.Finally, Sam and Hank travel to Bristol to meet Stafford Lightman, a Professor of Medicine. He describes how the brain responds to stress and how indefinite detention exacerbates its effects for both IPP prisoners and their family members. Get in touch on Twitter, Tik Tok or Instagram @Trapped_Pod Listen to our BBC Radio 4 doc, featuring Roddy and Robert on the IPP sentence: 'Tapped in the System' here: Contributors in order of appearance:Roddy Russell, IPP campaigner and brother of IPP serving prisoner, Robert @1roddyRussellAndrew Sperling, Lawyer and parole specialist, director of SL5 Legal. @AndrewSperlingGraham Towl, Professor of forensic psychology at Durham University, former Chief Psychologist at the Ministry of Justice @ProfGrahamTowlBryn Williams, former employer of Robert RussellHank Rossi, The Institute of NowAndrew Mapps, friend of Robert RussellNick Ballard, friend of Robert RussellDan Nelmes, friend of Robert RussellSam Samworth, former prison officer and Author @NeilSamworthClara White, sister of IPP serving prisoner Thomas WhiteRichard Garside, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies @RichardJGarsideStafford Lightman, Professor of Medicine, University of BristolReporter: Samantha Asumadu @SamanthaAsumaduExecutive Producer: Melissa FitzGerald @melissafitzgProducer: Steve Langridge @SMLANGERSConsultant: Hank RossiArtwork: BrightsideA Zinc Media Production for The Institute of Now