Prisoners’ understanding and experiences of parole

Lynn Kelly (Lead / Corresponding author), Gill McIver, Karen Richard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    179 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: In 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.

    Aims: Against 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.

    Methods: In 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.

    Findings: The survey revealed that prisoners did not have a clear understanding of parole and often did not feel fully engaged in the process.

    Conclusions: It 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)321-330
    Number of pages10
    JournalCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health
    Issue number6
    Early online date17 Nov 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


    • Scotland
    • early release
    • parole
    • participation
    • prisoners

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Psychology (miscellaneous)
    • Psychiatry and Mental health


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