Post-release deaths

For some time, we have recognised that there should be more scrutiny of cases where people die after their release from prison. We have now been given additional spend in our budget to investigate post-release deaths and we are working out how to do that so that we can have the most impact on practice, both in prisons and in the community, leading to fewer avoidable deaths in that post-release period.

In recent weeks, we have spoken to many of the people who have an interest in this work and those responsible for supporting people before, during and after their release from custody. These have included the Directors General for both Prisons and Probation in HMPPS, the Chief Inspector from HMI Probation and the Chair of the Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAP). We have also had conversations with some of the academics who have long argued that post-release deaths should be subject to independent scrutiny and investigation.

We will need to recruit more investigators and we have launched a campaign to do that, including reaching out to all our external partners to encourage people from all backgrounds, particularly those that are underrepresented at the PPO, to apply.

Our planning is at an early stage and we will not be ready to start investigating post-release deaths until later this year. But we believe this is important new work for the PPO and we will share our plans as they develop in the coming weeks and months.

Author: Sue McAllister