Nearly all prisoners are released at some point. Most countries have some system of early release with post-release supervision (Padfield et al., 2010). This serves a number of purposes: to motivate good behaviour in prison; to protect the public; to reduce the risk of reoffending; and to manage prison overcrowding.

In England and Wales, the date on which a prisoner is released, with or without supervision, and how long that post-release supervision goes on for, depends on a number of factors. Moreover, the rules and procedures governing early release have changed considerably over the years. This chapter will outline the historical background of these release mechanisms right up to the present day, including the introduction of 'parole' in 1968, following the Criminal Justice Act 1967, and the changes that accompanied the 'Transforming Rehabilitation' (TR) initiative in February 2015. It will also discuss, with reference to a recent research summary some of what is in place in terms of 'resettlement'. This is the work done with ex-prisoners to help them 'resettle' when returning to the community after release from prison, such as help with housing or education, training and employment, and the current challenges in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAn Introduction to Criminal Justice
EditorsJamie Harding, Pamela Davies, George Mair
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Pages323-345
ISBN (Print)9781412962124, 9781412962117
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Parole, resettlement, Case Management, St Giles Trust Cymru, Prison, Offender engagement, Reoffending, Post-release supervision, prisoners

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