The European court of human rights has ruled “arbitrary and unlawful” the operation of indeterminate sentences for the protection of the public (IPPs), currently being served by more than 6,000 prisoners in England and Wales. The Strasbourg judges said the prison system was “swamped” by prisoners without fixed release dates after the indeterminate sentences were introduced in 2005. They said the three inmates who brought the case had “no realistic chance” of accessing the rehabilitation courses they need to qualify for release. The new justice secretary, Chris Grayling, told MPs he was disappointed by the judgment, and intended to appeal against it. He said: “It is not an area where I welcome the court seeking to make rulings.” The unanimous ruling by seven judges, including the British judge Sir Nicolas Bratza, awarded up to €8,000 (£6,500) compensation to three prisoners, Brett James, Nicholas Wells and Jeffrey Lee, who have been held up to two years and 10 months longer than the original minimum recommendation of their trial judge. They were also awarded €12,000 costs each. All three were given indeterminate sentences after being convicted of violent offences in 2005 and ordered to serve a minimum tariff of two years, 12… Read full this story
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