ACTION ALERT: New Probation Officer for Ian Hartley

You may know Ian Hartley from previous action alerts and protests. He is an IPP prisoner 12 years over tarrif and  his family have been campaigning for his release for 4 years.

Ian (Prisoner Number: A9567AF) got an IPP sentence in 2006 with a 3 year tariff for robbery. His drug problems which he has had since experiencing trauma as a young child, led him to this point. At the moment he faces a Catch 22 situation. Before being released, his probation officer says he must stop using drugs. But prison is making Ian’s drug problems worse. Ian needs to be in residential rehab outside of prison to recover. He also needs the right probation officer to be able to support his recovery and path to freedom. Unfortunately, his current probation officer has a lack of experience and understanding of the issues he faces.

Ian needs us to act NOW!

What you can do:

Write or email the Head of the Northwest Probation Service expressing your concern for Ian and that he needs a new probation officer. There is a template letter below but it will have more impact if you use some of your own words if you can. Please let Smash IPP know if you have written to them so that we know that people are responding and fighting for Ian.

Life in prison is taking its toll on Ian – without his partner and family’s support, he says he wouldn’t be alive.

Template letter:

Roz Hamilton, 5th Floor, Oakland House, Talbot Road, Manchester M16 0PQ.

[Your address]

[Today’s date]

Dear Roz Hamilton,

I am writing with concern about prisoner Ian Hartley (Prisoner Number: A9567AF) who is currently in HMP Humber. I am asking you with urgency to remove Ian’s current offender manager and to replace her with someone with more knowledge and experience.

Ian is an IPP prisoner 12 years over tariff, with a parole hearing coming up on 2nd October. Ian has been using drugs since he was a young child, due to trauma he experienced at that time. His drug use has been the driver of his offending behaviour since childhood. His drug problems continue in prison and are being exacerbated by his indefinite sentence. It is therefore essential that his Offender Manager has expertise in this area.

Ian is also vulnerable as a result of his IPP sentence. IPP prisoners face particular issues, such as higher rates of mental health problems and suicide than other prisoners, and are vulnerable to being
targeted by prison officers and other prisoners. It is therefore also important that his Offender Manager has experience and knowledge of IPP prisoners.

In Part C of the dossier for Ian’s parole hearing which was due in April, his Offender Manager wrote that Ian should stay in custody for another 3-6 months and then have executive release. Executive release does not apply to IPP prisoners. This shows a lack of understanding and knowledge.

Due to her lack of experience (she qualified in 2016), Ian’s current Offender Manager is not able to manage a vulnerable prisoner such as Ian.

What Ian needs is to be in a residential rehab in order to recover from the drug problems he has experienced his entire life. Prison and Ian’s indefinite sentence is only intensifying his drug use, affecting his mental well-being and endangering his life. His Offender Manager’s recommendation that Ian needs to be abstinent before he can be released shows a lack of understanding of the nature of drug addiction and the IPP sentence.

Ian benefits from a supportive and loving family. However, I am sure you will agree that having the right Offender Manager is also essential to his progression to recovery and release.

I ask with urgency for you to remove Ian’s current Offender Manager and find one who has the experience and knowledge needed to support Ian.

I look forward to your written response explaining the action you have taken.

Yours sincerely

[Your name]

Or email: roz.hamilton@justice.gov.uk