Returning differently? A comparison of the re-entry and recidivism of sex offenders and non-sex offenders upon release from prison in Belgium

01 January 2019 → 31 October 2021
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Criminal law
    • Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
sex offenders non-sex offenders
Project description

In the last two decades, policymakers and researchers have put the reintegration of released prisoners high on their agenda’s. This followed the observation that ‘they all come back’ (Travis, 2005). The study of reintegration has shown the importance of a number of dynamic variables (e.g. housing, occupation, financial situation) for ‘making it’ outside. Existing research has not firmly established whether and how dynamic variables such as housing and occupation play a similar role in the reintegration of sex offenders as they do for non-sex offenders. This study will provide an analysis of the post-prison situation of ex-prisoners released in Belgium, with particular attention for differences between sex offenders and non-sex offenders, developments in dynamic variables and whether and how these relate to recidivism upon release. The study will then zoom in on stratified samples of rapists, child molesters and non-contact sex offenders and a random sample of non-sex offenders, in order to study their pre-prison, prison and post-prison situation, e.g. preparations for release, attention for the type of release (early release with supervision versus sentence expiry, without supervision), information about victims, family and relational context. A third part of the study comprises an international comparison of the post-prison developments in dynamic variables and how they are linked to recidivism or success for Belgium and the Netherlands.