Internationally, the number of offenders being recalled to prison during their license period has increased dramatically. In England and Wales for instance, the number of offenders being recalled to prison has augmented more than three or fourfold. For Belgium, partial figures indicate that between 42% and 46% of the conditional release orders are recalled to prison. The last decade, a growing number of scholars have focused on the possible reasons for and impact of the rise in recalls. The most common reason for recall is the violation of the license conditions. Yet, within this growing body of knowledge, two important lacunas can be identified.
Firstly, there is a remarkable absence of insight in the decision-making practices of the administrative or judicial bodies that take the recall decision (so-called 'back-end sentencing').
Secondly, there is a lack of research on the whole parole revocation process, starting from the new offence or violation of the condition, followed by the decision of the parole officer to report to the judicial or administrative body, that finally decides about the possible recall.
This research aims to fill this gap by studying the recall processes and practices in a Belgian context and where possible to compare these data with practices in other jurisdictions. Therefore extensive fieldwork will be carried out, triangulating different methods of empirical inquiry: qualitative and quantitative file analysis and in-depth interviews with the different professional actors involved in the recall procedure.