Families Protest outside HMP Risley to Free IPP Prisoners

Family members of Ian Hartley, an IPP prisoner at HMP Risley near Warrington, staged a protest outside HMP Risley Saturday (8/7/17) with support from Smash IPP. This protest was for the immediate release of IPP prisoners and in this instance Ian in particular who has a parole hearing coming up this November.

Ian is an IPP prisoner who has spent over 12 years in prison for a 38 month tariff. This protest, one of many during Smash IPP’s national month of action against IPP called for the immediate release of all IPP prisoners and for freedom for Ian.

A loud sound system blasted songs over the walls of the prison, the general public and visitors to the prison were given leaflets about IPP.

Ian Hartley, says:

“Having a sentence of 3 years, you know how long you have and when you are getting out – but when you’re an IPP there is no release date. I get in a state of depression if I didn’t have the support I have from my family outside I would have ended my life. The only reason I am here is basically because I do not want my family going through the pain of losing me and having to live with it.

Prison is violence and drug fuelled, even the prison officers have walked out. How can you expect to rehabilitate in a place like this? I have lived like this for 12 years and have lost all hope and faith of getting out.

Relationships are fractured between my family and partner because there is doubt on their part as to why I am still here, thinking it is down to me. I can’t understand why my partner stands by me because I am here, she is there and I am not coming home anytime soon. I don’t think about the outside because of how down and depressed it makes me. The goalposts are constantly moved and individual needs are not catered for. Everyone is put in the same box weather straight sentence or IPP. I dread waking up in the morning and can’t wait to go to sleep at night.
My mask is on 24/7, I live in a frightened world that I can’t get out of. The sentence was abolished and deemed illegal why have so many still got it?

I got funding and placement of residential support but this has never come to light.”

Joanne Hibbert, Ian’s partner says:

“Every day without Ian is heartbreaking. He is a loving, caring family person that is craving to be part of a normal everyday family life. The fact he is an IPP is detrimental to him both emotionally and psychologically.

Ian has hit rock bottom and rightly so, he has served his tarif over four times what was originally given yet he spends every day praying that his time for release will come. The effect on his emotional state is huge, constantly breaking down on his telephone calls and visits begging me to help him. If he was released he could get the help he needs to rehabilitate him and have the support of the family backing him all the way to succeed.

Ian being an IPP also impacts on our family, myself I am an emotional wreck. I try to be strong for Ian yet inside I am breaking. Scared of what will happen if he stays on the inside for much longer with the ability to get drugs such as Spice is killing me.

How can a person be expected to reform himself when he is constantly having to live up to being part of ‘the group’ inside, when all he wants to do is commit to being a family man and living a respectable life. The injustice of him still serving time despite doing all that is asked of him throughout the years is gradually grinding him down to nothing, and is doing the same to me on the outside. Ian needs to be given the chance to prove himself on release and make our family complete and happy once again.”