In some jurisdictions, early release is automatic at a certain point in time; in others, it is discretionarily decided by a court or an executive authority; others still have a mixed system and, increasingly, others opt for mandatory post-release supervision with the hope of better controlling dangerous offenders. In some cases, due process applies and the independence of decision-makers is viewed as being paramount; in others such principles are deemed inapplicable. Some legal systems consider that release – , and breach issues – are part of a penal continuum that starts with arrest; in others, they are perceived as
belonging to the executive and as being strictly distinct from penal issues.This book endeavours to understand these differences and tries and assess whether one perspective is superior to another. It wonders which one is fairer and more effi cient. It questions what efficiency means: freeing prison space, reducing reoffending, supporting rehabilitation, and/or being legitimate and fair? It wonders to what extent the answers to such questions are relative to culture, to penology choices (punitive, or not), and to the legal history and structure (e.g. written law or common law; adversarial versus non adversarial). It analyses whether due process should be taken into consideration. It also asks whether a legal system can afford due process in overcrowded and penniless times.

Thanks to the contribution of renown authors with various backgrounds, this book tries and answer these contentious issues, by drawing upon comparative and international law, empirical (outcome) literature, legitimacy of justice theory, therapeutic jurisprudence legal doctrine, and best practices (e.g. Danish collaborative reentry, drug courts or French reentry courts).

About the editor: Martine Herzog-Evans teaches law and criminology at Reims University, France. She also teaches at the Universities of Paris II and Bordeaux IV/Pau/National Prison Academy. Her majors are criminal law, sentences, probation, prisons and reentry. She is a member of the European Society of Criminology and works with three of its subgroups: Community Sentences and Measures; Sentencing; and Prisons. She is also a member of the Decision-Making group of the EU COST action “Offender Supervision in Europe”. She has consulted with the French National Assembly, the Senate, these assemblies’ law commissions, the French National Human Rights Commission, and the prison services, and worked as an expert for the Council of Europe.