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Prisoners' understanding and experiences of parole

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Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health

Published online on


["\nAbstract\n\nBackground\nIn Scotland, as elsewhere, there has been growing political and public interest in the function and process of parole accompanied by a lack of empirical research on the operation and effectiveness of parole.\n\n\nAims\nAgainst the backdrop of a Scottish Government review of parole aimed, among other things, at improving the transparency of the process, the aim of the study was to explore the experiences of prisoners seeking early release on licence.\n\n\nMethods\nIn conjunction with the Scottish Prison Service a national survey was conducted of 197 long‐term prisoners who had experience of seeking early release on parole.\n\n\nFindings\nThe survey revealed that prisoners did not have a clear understanding of parole and often did not feel fully engaged in the process.\n\n\nConclusions\nIt is argued that better support for prisoners prior to, during and following parole hearings might foster their increased engagement and alleviate some of the anxiety associated with the parole process.\n\n", "Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, EarlyView. "]