Early release phenomenon vs. life imprisonment in Latvia and beyond


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Presentation by PROVIDUS researcher I.Kronberga in the International Conference on the Issues of Life-term Prisoners in Yerevan, Armenia, November 20-22, 2012

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Early release phenomenon vs. life imprisonment in Latvia and beyond

  1. 1. Early release phenomenon vs. life imprisonment in Latvia and beyond Ilona Kronberga, Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
  2. 2. Why the life-sentencedpersons should be appliedfor early release?• Release is a motivation for involvement in resocialization activities;• Often early release for the life-convicted persons is the only thing that could be lost yet (especially when family and friends have turned away from them);• Many life-sentenced inmates are quite young people, for example, in Latvia the average age is about 38 years;• The number of life-sentenced inmates in all countries growing very quickly.
  3. 3. A number of life-sentenced inmates over the years in Latvia
  4. 4. European countries which have abolished an indefinite imprisonmentA number of European countries have abolished all forms of indefinite imprisonment, including Serbia, Croatia, and Spain which set the maximum sentence at 40 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina which sets the maximum sentence at 45 years, and Portugal, which sets the maximum sentence at 25 years; Norway has abolished life imprisonment but retains other forms of indefinite imprisonment.
  5. 5. The fundamental aspects of life imprisonment:• life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also be formal mechanisms to request parole after a certain period of imprisonment;• The length of time and the modalities surrounding early release vary greatly for each country. In some places, convicts are entitled to apply for parole relatively early, in others - only after several decades;• all countries that have abolished the life imprisonment is a very long fixed prison terms;• the early release issues of the life- sentenced persons in the coming years will be particularly iimportant.
  6. 6. The Life imprisonment in UK An indeterminate sentence Imprisonment for publicMandatory life sentences Discretionary life protection (IPP) - is aged - Imprisonment for Life sentences - 18 or over; is convicted (over 21), Detention Imprisonment for Life of a serious specified during Her Majestys (over 21), Detention for violent or sexual offencePleasure (,10 or over but Life (,10 or over but and who in the courts under 18 ), Custody for under 18 ), Custody for opinion, poses a Life (18 or over but Life (18 or over but significant risk of harm to under 21) under 21) the public
  7. 7. The Life imprisonment in UKUnlike a prisoner with a determinate sentence who must be released at the end of their sentence, those sentenced to life imprisonment or Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP), collectively called indeterminate sentenced prisoner(s) (ISP), have no automatic right to be released. Instead, such prisoners must serve a minimum period of imprisonment. This punitive period is announced by the trial judge in open court and is known commonly as the “tariff” period.
  8. 8. The life-sentence in the near future ...• Individualized application of the penalty - differentiated part of the minimum term;• individual risk and need assessment system throughout the penal execution time;• in the individual risk and need assessment results based early release system;• intensive supervision of the early released persons in society, which will be done by probation professionals• Quick system for returning to prison of life-sentenced persons.
  9. 9. Ilona Kronbergailona@providus.lvPhone +371 67 039259Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS www.providus.lv13 AlbertaRīga, LV-1010Latvia