10-month jail term becomes 11 years
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Prisoner 'suicidal' 11 years into 10-month jail term

In 2006 James Ward was serving a 22-month prison sentence for assault.

During his time in jail he set fire to the mattress in his cell. As a result he was given an IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) for arson and told he would have to serve a minimum of 10 months, but 11 years later he remains behind bars.

There are concerns for his safety because he regularly self-harms.

His family fear he will take his own life.

IPPs were abolished in 2012 but there are more than 3,000 people in England and Wales still serving these sentences, which means they have no release date.

The chairman of the Parole Board, Nick Hardwick, says ministers ''must act now'' to address the backlog.

The Ministry of Justice says it is working closely with the Parole Board to process the cases as quickly as possible and last year achieved the highest number of releases yet.

Zoe Conway reports for BBC Radio 4's Today and the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

  • 14 Aug 2017
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