The End of the Road?
This chapter considers the motivations and processes that led to the abolition of the IPP sentence, and discusses the approach taken by ministers to the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) prisoners who remained-and continue to remain-in the penal estate. It is argued that relevant ministers were motivated by liberal-conservative beliefs to press ahead with the abolition of the sentence, resisting Conservative colleagues’ concerns about the likely electoral repercussions of this course of action. A public protection paradigm dominated the management of existing IPP prisoners, notwithstanding the perceived injustices caused by their plight. In conclusion, it is argued that the abolition of the IPP sentence represents at best a brief hiatus in the ‘anti-politics’ climate in which penal policymakers operate (Loader, 2008). However, it does provide tentative indications that a broader range of penal outcomes can plausibly be pursued.
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