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What is the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (IEPS)? Task

The Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (IEPS) is a scheme that allows prisoners to earn extra privileges. 

The IEPS helps you be more involved in your rehabilitation and rewards you for behaving well. You can also lose privileges if you don’t behave according to the rules.  

Privileges are extra things that you can do or have. They are different in each prison but include things like: 

  • having more visits from your family and friends 
  • having a TV in your cell 
  • being able to earn or spend more money 
  • being able to wear your own clothes or spend time outside your cell 

To earn privileges, your behaviour needs to meet certain standards and you may lose privileges if you break certain rules. Any prison staff who deal closely with you will give their opinion about your behaviour and help decide which IEP level you should have (the IEP levels are explained a little bit later on). The decision will be based on: 

  • your behaviour over a period of time 
  • whether you help prison staff or other prisoners 
  • whether you take an active part in your rehabilitation 
  • significant events where you haven’t followed the rules. For example:  
  • if you have been violent or tried to escape  
  • If you have had things you are not allowed such as drugs, mobile phones, or weapons 

Staff will tell you your IEP level and explain what privileges you are allowed. You will be asked to sign a form saying that you understand the IEP scheme. If you choose not to sign the form, you will be put on the lowest (basic) privilege level. 

Yes. Decisions about your IEPS level must be open, fair and consistent. Staff must tell you how they decided on your level and what evidence they have to support their decision.  

If you disagree with the decision, you can appeal by following the prison’s normal complaints process. 

There are four levels which are entry, basic, standard and enhanced: 

• Entry level  

The entry-level is for new prisoners only. After 14 days, it is reviewed and you will be given either basic or standard level. 

• Basic level 

The basic level is the lowest level of privileges, where you will only have basic entitlements, like phone calls, visits, access to books and education. It is for prisoners who don’t seem committed to their rehabilitation, don’t use their time constructively, or don’t behave well. The basic level is reviewed after the first seven days. If it is not increased after the first seven days, it will be reviewed every 28 days after that.  

• Standard level 

The standard level is for prisoners who commit to their rehabilitation, and who behave well. After three months on the standard level, you can apply for the enhanced level. If you choose not to apply for the enhanced level, the standard level will be reviewed annually. 

• Enhanced level 

The enhanced level is for prisoners who have committed to their rehabilitation, followed the rules and behaved well for at least three months. 

Yes. If you are involved in a serious event (like being violent, trying to escape, or having drugs, weapons or mobile phones), your level will be immediately downgraded to the basic level. You can also receive a prison disciplinary charge, as well as having your privileges taken away. 

Yes. You are still entitled to IEP privileges whether or not you admit to the crime you were sentenced for. To earn privileges, you are not obliged to say you are guilty. You earn privileges by committing to your rehabilitation, behaving well, and using your time in prison constructively. 

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