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Suspension, revocation and recall of conditional release : proposed survey to identify trends and best practices

74 Leichhardt Street, Griffith, ACT, R E Bob Brown
10 July 2006 -

R E Bob Brown
International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, Vancouver, Canada


It seems in many western countries there is an increasing proportion of people entering prison because of conditional release revocation. In Canada the number of admissions to Federal custody as a result of conditional release revocation for the ten year period 95/96 to 04/05 averages out to be approximately 40%. In New Jersey, in the United States, the share of prison admissions that were parole violators doubled between 1990 and 1998 from 20 percent of all admissions to 40 percent. In 2004 an article by Shadd Marunna highlighted Parole Board figures that showed the number of recalls to prison in the UK had jumped from 2,457 in 2000-2001 to 4,885 in 2001-2002 then again to 7,246 just a year later in 2002-2003.

The collective role of the criminal justice system is public safety. Key questions are:

  • Are we confident that the community is being protected when the return rate of offenders on conditional release to prison averages about 40%?
  • Do we have a full appreciation of the impact that this return rate has on prison populations?
  • Are there jurisdictions that have a lower return rate and if so how do they manage the return of offenders to the community?
  • Are they returned without jeopardizing public safety?

It is hoped that an international review of this issue will contribute to answering these questions and enhancing community safety. The presentation will outline the rationale for a proposed international survey that will, using common definitions, establish the actual impact that revocation and recall has on prison populations.

About the presenter

Prior to assuming the duties and responsibilities of the Corrections Programme Director at the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in October 2005 Robert worked in both institutional and community corrections in Canada for over 30 years. Starting his professional career as a Correctional Officer in a provincial institution in Ottawa in 1975 he has also worked in federal institutions and at Regional and National Headquarters with the Correctional Service of Canada. The majority of his work experience however was involved in community corrections working as a Parole Officer, Community Correctional Centre Superintendent and Parole Area and District Director. Robert is a firm believer in safe and accountable alternatives to prison and the involvement of the community in the "correction's reality".

No paper available