Incentive and Earned Privileges “IEPs)

Each prisoner is set a status within the prison based upon their behaviour. This called your Incentive and Earned Privileges (IEP).  Initially you will be given the status of an entry  prisoner, which allows you certain number of visits each month and access to TV etc. As you progress with your sentence you will be able to improve your status to standard and then enhanced prisoner if you stick to the prison rules and exceed their expectations of good behaviour. If you are enhanced you get more, and possibly longer visits plus some other benefits relating to the amount of money you can spend within the prison each week. At either end of the spectrum are basic and super enhanced, obviously you can either progress or regress to these during your time in prison. The names of these various statuses has recently changed to be Basic, Entry, Standard and Enhanced but it takes a long time before these new names will become the norm within the prisons.

The prison staff can issue you “warnings” about your behaviour, which are verbal warnings and not noted on your records, or can give you a “nicking” where the issue is formally noted on your records. If you get a “nicking” you will be subject to some degree of punishment which could be loss of canteen, reductions in visits etc. If the offence is deemed serious enough the prison may pass the case to a visiting judge who will decide what sanctions are appropriate and this can include additional time added to your sentence.

The prison authorities have recently issued new guidelines for Prison Governors on how the “Incentive and Earned Privileges”, usually called IEPs, will work. As a new prisoner you will automatically be classified as “Entry Level”. Entry Level prisoners are not automatically allowed to wear their own clothes and are expected to demonstrate good behaviour and attend all the required courses or induction meetings. After 14 days an Entry Level prisoner will be “promoted” to Standard Level and in most establishments can wear their own clothes, and then after a further 3 months can apply to become Enhanced. The main criteria for this promotion are good and compliant behaviour, and the demonstration of the willingness to help other prisoners.  The Basic Level is a punishment level for those who do not comply with prison regulations and protocols.

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