Risk management in open prisons: a critical analysis and research agenda

Gary Goodley*, Dominic Pearson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Open prisons offer a unique contribution to the community resettlement of those serving custodial sentences. However, the evidence-base for efficacy of open prisons is limited and their existence is frequently scrutinised following adverse events including prisoner absconding and re-offending. This paper critically evaluates open prisons’ efficacy and the effective management of risk in this environment. We present a research agenda which aims to delineate the potential mechanisms of open prisons that rehabilitate offenders, while maintaining the safety of these environments. We emphasise the importance of an improved understanding of risk manifestation, and the need to evaluate existing risk management protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-384
Number of pages18
JournalProbation Journal
Issue number4
Early online date17 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • abscond
  • behaviour monitoring
  • offender assessment
  • open prisons
  • recidivism
  • resettlement
  • risk management

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