José Cid, Beatriz Tébar

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© The editor and contributors 2010. Spanish law provides three mechanisms for early release from imprisonment: pardon, release on home detention curfew and parole, although pardons are used only very rarely. It is also important to consider the former generous ‘good time’ credit system for all prison sentences (which was abolished with the 1995 Criminal Code), since this shortened the time to be served before a prisoner was eligible for parole. Home detention curfew and parole are discretionary early release mechanisms included in the penitentiary law as a means of managing the transition from imprisonment to unconditional release. In order to be eligible for these early release mechanisms, prisoners must be assessed as having a good prognosis, which normally requires them to have benefited from home leave and to have spent a period of time in an open prison. In this sense, open prisons should be considered as a pre-early release mechanism.Overall, the Spanish system of early release faces three main problems: the disparity in the implementation of early release mechanisms; the long time that a prisoner must statutorily serve before being granted parole in comparison with most other European countries; and the restrictive use of early release as a way of ending a sentence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelease from Prison: European Policy and Practice
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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