DOI

In recent years, the United States and England and Wales have witnessed growing reincarceration rates. This growth is not only due to the courts sending more people to prison (‘front-end sentencing’), but also due to an increasing number of revocations of early release measures, mainly following technical violations of licence conditions (so called ‘back-end sentencing’). However, it is unclear whether the same phenomenon exists in other (European) countries. Therefore, we empirically studied prison recall decision-making processes in Belgium by file analysis, complemented with focus groups with the decision makers involved in the recall process of prisoners with a sentence of more than three years. We found that the recall process in Belgium is embedded in a strong narrative of ‘giving chances’ and that all decision makers deploy a large amount of discretion, which they use to make deliberate decisions in an attempt to facilitate parolees’ reintegration process. Non-compliance with imposed conditions does not automatically lead to recall and even when a parolee is sent back to prison, recall is framed by the decision makers as a step in the reintegration process, not the end of it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalProbation Journal
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

ID: 49045730