Shaun Lloyd was sentenced to 2 1/2 years with an IPP in 2006, aged only 18. Nine years later, after a long campaign lead by his mum Shirley, he was released. However the nightmare wasn’t over, as IPP sentences carry a 99 year licence, meaning that he could be recalled to prison at any time without even having committed an offence. Last year in October, this is exactly what happened.
When someone’s locked up on an IPP sentence, they have to convince the parole board that they’re no longer a “danger to the public” in order to be let out. This usually means jumping through ridiculous hoops and completing useless courses with years-long waiting lists. Shaun had a parole hearing on the 19th of January but was refused release.
A group of us gathered outside the Probation Office in Cardiff yesterday, 24th of January, to make our anger about Shaun’s continued imprisonment heard. While he was out he got married and had a baby, and at this rate he’ll miss his kid’s first birthday. Shirley was there, as well as friends and family of Kiya Smith who’s also locked up on an IPP. Shirley popped into the probation office at one point, only to be informed by helpful staff that ‘IPP sentences have been abolished’. Well that’s alright then, we can go home! After making some noise over the megaphone and holding up our banners, we marched down Queen Street and into Cardiff city centre, handing out leaflets to interested passers by. We had some great conversations with shoppers and realised once again that most people have no idea what’s going on behind the prison walls, IPP sentences included.
At the end of the demo we agreed to meet up again soon and not stop until Shaun Lloyd, Kiya Smith and all IPP prisoners are freed, so watch this space!