This study represents the first major effort in Canada to examine in depth the life experience of a large group of men released from prison. It is unique in comparing systematically the experience of those who were released unconditionally with that of those on parole. It not only describes the helps us understand each man's experience, particularly during their first twelve months from release, but also evaluates the effects of penitentiary sentences and the parole experience upon their lives.
The book is based on a series of interviews with 423 men, who were chosen as a representative sample of inmates released from penitentiaries in Ontario in 1968. The researchers also collected, from psychological texts and official files, information which was integrated with data on all arrests that occured in the period of 24 months after their release.
IRVIN WALLER draws together the broad set of experiences -- not just re-conviction -- to assess the relative success or failure of the existing correctional principles and programmes. He concludes that less public attention should be focused on the present inevitable high levels of recidivism from penitentiaries. However, the author suggests, in a practical manner, how the analysis of the factors this study showed to be associated with such high failue rates can be used in deliberate experimentation to give equivalent protection to the public, while reducing the number of individuals in prison and so the cost to the state.
'The book adds another significant dimension to the growing literature reporting objectively upon the post-institutional behavior of men released from prison … The reading of this report is especially recommended, not only to researches, but to administration and policy-makers in the correctional field.' Federal Probation
'Men Released from Prison deserves a wide reading, with the expectation that its dissemination will stimulate the renewal of inquiry.' Canadian Forum
'Few studies are so timely and so relevant.' Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology