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Dangerous PoliticsRisk, Political Vulnerability, and Penal Policy$
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Harry Annison

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728603.001.0001

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Rescuing the IPP

Rescuing the IPP

Negotiating Systemic and Political Risk

(p.130) 6 Rescuing the IPP
Dangerous Politics

Harry Annison

Oxford University Press

This chapter traces the process of the amendment of the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence in 2007-2008, culminating in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJIA) 2008. It draws on Hood’s (2011) typology of blame avoidance to explore the efforts made to steer a course between the twin dangers of a systemic crisis and a political crisis. Indeed we see that the systemic and political pressures were not separate: they intertwined. The systemic pressures generated novel and increased existing political pressures, while the political context-the ‘penal arms race’-of the time strongly limited the possible actions open to the key actors. In conclusion, it is argued that this episode in the IPP story makes clear the extraordinarily narrow political space perceived as being available in relation to penal politics at that time.

Keywords:   blame avoidance, systemic risk, political risk, Ministry of Justice

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