Prisoners' understanding and experiences of parole



Kelly L, McIvor G & Richard K (2020) Prisoners' understanding and experiences of parole. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 30 (6), pp. 321-330.

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.

early release; parole; participation; prisoners; Scotland

Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health: Volume 30, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online17/11/2020
Date accepted by journal26/10/2020

People (1)


Professor Gillian McIvor

Professor Gillian McIvor

Emeritus Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology