‘Offering a Helping Hand’ to families of those sentenced to IPP

‘Offering a Helping Hand’ to families of those sentenced to IPP

Spurgeons has published a new booklet that addresses the impact of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) and other indeterminate sentences on prisoners and their families.

Offering a Helping Hand is a joint publication by Spurgeons and Southampton Law School and draws on collaborative work with families of those serving IPP sentences carried out by Associate Professor at the Law School, Dr Harry Annison. It is also informed by insights provided by Spurgeons’ Invisible Walls team at HMP Winchester. The booklet:

  • Reflects on the feelings that families of people serving IPP may be experiencing
  • Provides links and information about a number of relevant issues and processes
  • Identifies more general sources of information that might be particularly helpful
  • And identifies other ways in which families can get involved, and gain support

Offering a Helping Hand complements publications that have been, or soon will be, published by the Parole Board and HM Prisons and Probation Service (HMPPS) targeted at prisoners’ families. Taken together, these publications address some of the detailed, evidence-based recommendations to government and criminal justice organisations made in the earlier joint report by the Prison Reform Trust and University of Southampton entitled A Helping Hand: Supporting Families in the Resettlement of People Serving IPPs.

Dr Annison said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Spurgeons and, in particular, the Invisible Walls team on this initiative to help families of prisoners who are often facing significant difficulties.

“This new booklet reflects a growing recognition that further support is needed by many of those sentenced to IPP, and also their families. There is more to be done, but we hope the booklet will make an important contribution to reaching this goal.”

The booklet is available at:

To request printed copies, please contact Samantha Williams at swilliams@spurgeons.org

If you use the booklet and find it useful, or have other comments, we would be interested to hear from you. Please contact Dr Harry Annison at h.annison@soton.ac.uk

The earlier report ‘A Helping Hand’, by Harry Annison and Christina Straub, is available at:

A short research article ‘The Pains of Indeterminate Imprisonment for Family Members’, by Harry Annison and Rachel Condry, is available at: