Suspension of Supervision Conditions for IPP sentence after 5 years


In November 2020, HMPPS published a new policy entitled Managing Parole Eligible Offenders on Licence Policy Framework. It cancels and replaces the previous Probation Instruction (PI) 08/2015 Managing Indeterminate Sentenced Offenders on Licence.

I have received a few queries regarding the suspension of the supervision conditions during the licence period for people serving an indeterminate sentence. 

If you are serving an IPP sentence, your Community Offender Manager (COM) may consider requesting the suspension of the supervision conditions of your licence after 5 years of ‘continuous, trouble-free resettlement and good behaviour in the community, and, where appropriate, any additional conditions of the licence, due to good progress’.

The Policy Framework adds that ‘exceptional applications’ can be made before these time frames, but it is for IPP Progression Panels to consider whether exceptional circumstances apply in individual cases.

To make a request for suspension of supervision your COM must make an application to the Parole Board through the Public Protection Casework Section (PPCS). They can only do this with the endorsement of the IPP Progression Panel and sign off from the responsible Head of Service/Local Delivery Unit (LDU) or equivalent. Any representations from victims will also be considered before deciding whether to agree an application to the Parole Board. PPCS are responsible for formally referring the case to the Parole Board – with the dossier. The Parole Board will make the final decision on whether supervision should be suspended.

To be able to recommend suspension of supervision, your COM must be able to evidence the following: 

  • A stable lifestyle, good integration, a balanced outlook and an open relationship with the Supervising Officer; 
  • Gradual reduction in the requirement for contact with the NPS/YOT; 
  • Crises, if any, having been faced and dealt with sensibly, with proper involvement of the Supervising Officer; and 
  • An indication that the licensee would turn to the NPS/YOT for assistance on a voluntary basis if necessary.

You should be given the opportunity to make your own representations when an application is made to suspend supervision. There is a space on the representation form for you to do this – ask your COM if you are not sure when or how to do this. You can also ask a legal representative to make representations on your behalf.

If an application is unsuccessful then the approval of the IPP Progression Panel will be needed before submitting another application. The Policy Framework recommends that the COM wait a further 12 to 18 months before they make another application.

It is important to be aware that any suspended conditions may be re-imposed at any time, subject to Parole Board approval, if your COM believes that your behaviour gives cause for concern. You could also still have your licence revoked and be recalled to prison in these circumstances.

Suspension of supervision conditions should not be confused with the termination of licence for those serving an IPP. IPP sentenced individuals have the right, under section 31A of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997, to apply for consideration to be given to terminating their IPP licence 10 years after their initial release, regardless of whether they have subsequently been recalled and re-released. There is more information about this in the Policy Framework. Click on the link below if you wish to read it.

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