Smash IPP organisers and IPP family members held a protest at Gateshead Probation Office to draw attention to the poor treatment of IPPs by the Probation Service. The probation service could support IPPs to navigate the system and help them get them freedom quicker, but time and time again, they are cruel, ineffective and negligent.
One IPP from Gateshead is 14 years into a 4 years 6 month sentence. His partner said: “I’m protesting because my partner is an IPP prisoner and it’s to make people aware of the IPP and the fact that Gateshead Probation recall people for no reason. They don’t support them. They’re not given a chance to rebuild themselves in the community because probation recall them. No sooner do you get out of prison and you’re trying to rebuild your life, you’re getting knocked back by probation. The meetings aren’t too bad, going to see them twice a week or something, but it’s having to constantly look over your shoulder. You get recalled if you’re late, you get recalled if you swear, you get recalled if you spit. These are stuff that everyday people do. It’s like no one seems to want them to turn their lives around and see them succeed.”
The manager of Gateshead Probation came out during the protest to speak to a family member and a new appointment was arranged to discuss his treatment. Along with attention on social media and from passersby, this was a positive day. Look out for a fuller report in the winter issue of DOPE magazine, out later this month from dogsectionpress.org.