But Some of Them Don’t Come Back (to Prison!): Resource Deprivation and Thinking Errors as Determinants of Parole Success and Failure

Kristofer Bret Bucklen, Gary Zajac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


This article reports on a study of the causes and correlates of parole success and failure in Pennsylvania. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups were conducted with parole violators and parole successes. Data were collected on employment, housing, social relations, supervision, and parolees’ responses to parole challenges. The primary correlates of parole failure were found to be antisocial attitudes, poor problem-solving and coping skills, and unrealistic expectations about life after release from prison. Contrary to expectations, this study found little evidence that job acquisition or housing were significant parole challenges. The greatest problem for parolees was managing themselves in a prosocial manner while facing demands from their environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-264
Number of pages26
JournalThe Prison Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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