IMB highlights plight of prisoners with no release date

In its annual report, the IMB at Moorland prison highlights the hopelessness and helplessness of the 22 prisoners given indeterminate sentences under legislation which was introduced by the then Sheffield MP David (now Lord) Blunkett when he was Home Secretary. It was abolished ten years ago because it was used too widely and inconsistently. They do not know when, or if ever, they will be released. The IMB conducted a local survey to explore their concerns.

The Moorland IMB also notes that:

  • The prison was returning to normal after the pandemic, with expansion of work, education and gym opportunities and resumption of face-to-face visiting
  • The standard of cleanliness and accommodation was good: most prisoners had telephones in their cells, and opportunities to make video-calls to their families
  • There was a reduction in the level of self-harm

However, there were complaints about the food, reflecting the challenge of meeting the diverse dietary needs of over 900 prisoners within a very limited budget. Staff shortages due to the pandemic and difficulties in recruitment and retention adversely impacted on the day-to-day life of prisoners.

IMB Moorland  Chair, Sally Woffenden  said:

“This has been another challenging year within Moorland, and for IMB members to maintain our monitoring and contact with prisoners. However, the general mood is a positive one.

The IPP survey work is a notable exception, with frustration from prisoners and relevant staff that this cohort of prisoners is overlooked and lost within the system The survey highlighted a series of common themes that concerned these prisoners including a lack of individual progress action plans that could assist with their parole pathway, a lack of accommodation arrangements, poor or no family support and few specially trained officers/key workers.