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Early Release of Prisoners to Facilitate Their Re-integration Into Society: The Actual Situation, Problems and Countermeasures (From UNAFEI Resource Material Series No. 54, P 391-413, 1999 - See NCJ-190077)

NCJ Number
Elizabeth M. Masire; Emilie P. Aranas
Date Published
September 1999
23 pages
This paper examined the early release of prisoners to facilitate their reintegration into society.
In an effort to facilitate prisoners' smooth reintegration into society, many countries have adopted remission, parole, pardon, amnesty, and extramural employment as early release measures. Early release was intended to help prisoners' reintegration and adjustment to society, to act as an incentive for good behavior, to lessen prison and jail overcrowding, and to reduce maintenance costs. However, these measures were accompanied by many problems: (1) improper selection of early release candidates in balance with the risk of recidivism; (2) timing of early release; (3) consideration of the environment to which the released prisoner would return; (4) inappropriate composition of the decision making body; (5) negative public perception; (6) lengthy procedure involved; and (7) inadequately trained staff to supervise the releases. The paper addressed these problems and described ways eight countries have attempted to deal with or prevent them. The article concluded that early release for suitable prisoners reduced recidivism. However, it emphasized the need to differentiate among various types of offenders, the gravity of offenses and the risk of recidivism, keeping in mind public safety and prisoners' rehabilitation prospects.