Redemption or forfeiture? Understanding diversity in Australians’ attitudes to parole

Robin Fitzgerald, Arie Freiberg, Lorana Bartels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Recent Australian reforms to parole following high-profile violations are premised on a purported public desire for greater restrictions on the use of parole. These changes reflect the tendency of legislatures to presume that the public is largely punitive and invoke a ‘forfeiture’ of rights rationale that weakens support for offender rehabilitation. We consider whether restricting parole is based on a sound reading of public views. Drawing on a national study of public opinion on parole in Australia, we use a latent variable approach to look for distinct patterns in attitudes to parole and re-entry. We also examine what factors explain these patterns. The results support the conclusion that appealing to a public belief in offenders’ ability to change may be the most effective way to increase public confidence in parole systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalCriminology & Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Forfeiture
  • latent class analysis
  • parole
  • public opinion
  • redeemability

Cite this