Imprisonment for public protection (IPP) has been the subject of much attention and some controversy since its implementation in April 2005. High numbers of IPP prisoners, combined with a low release rate, have meant that IPP has had a significant impact on the prison population. This paper charts the genesis of IPP and its historical antecedents. It also explores IPP as an exemplar of the ‘rise of risk’ and focuses on its links to the ‘dangerous severe personality disorder’ pilots. It presents two hypotheses on the mental health implications of IPP.
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