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The Prisoners Review Board of Western Australia: What do the Public Know about Parole?

Previous studies have revealed Australians hold an incorrect perception of parole (Cullen, Fisher & Applegate, 2000; Jones & Weatherburn, 2010; Samra-Grewal & Roesch, 2000; Luskin, Fishkin & Jowell, 2002) and have little understanding of how it operates. This can result in a lack of confidence in the Criminal Justice System (Jones & Weatherburn, 2010), often stemmed by a lack of knowledge (Jones & Weatherburn, 2010; Samra-Grewal & Roesch, 2000) and the media (Indermaur & Roberts, 2009; Rosenberger & Callanan, 2011). The present study utilised the deidentified surveys (n=345) and interviews (41) of a sample of West Australians collected by students enrolled in the CRI2102 Qualitative Research Methods unit in the Criminology and Justice Degree. In this unit the students investigated public perceptions of the Parole System and Prisoner Review Board (PRBWA) utilising the Parole Attitudes Scale (PAS) whether attitudes towards parole change upon receiving accurate and correct information of the Parole System and PRBWA. The cultivation theory provided a conceptual framework to the research. Data analysis is being conducted and it is anticipated that this project will contribute to understandings about how the public perceive the Parole System in Western Australia. It will identify and explain the underlying reasons for these public perceptions, and will help inform government about where it needs to educate the public further. The research will make recommendations about responding to public concern and strategies to tackle the problem where it exists.

Funding agency


Project duration

January 2015 - December 2016


  • Gately, N., Ferguson, C., Ellis, S. & Cock. R. (2017). The Prisoners Review Board of Western Australia: What do the public know about parole? Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 28(3), 293-310.


Dr Natalie Gately
Dr Cath Ferguson
Miss Suzanne Ellis
Mr Robert Cock

In collaboration with Hon. Robert Cock and the Prisoners Review Board

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