03 Jul, 2023

Initial Insights into the Experience of Being Subject to an Order for Lifelong Restriction Sentence

Today, Tuesday 4 July, the RMA are pleased to publish the first qualitative research report exploring the experience of individuals who are subject to the Order for Lifelong Restriction.

Using interviews with individuals who are subject to the sentence, ‘Initial Insights into Experiences of Release, Community Integration and Recall for Individuals on the Order for Lifelong Restriction captures first hand experiences of the sentence, including release and community reintegration.  

Whilst there has been a recent increase in the number of individuals with an OLR progressing to less secure conditions and being released to the community, at the time of our study, only a small number had been released. This research draws on interviews with eight individuals subject to the OLR. These interviews provided a valuable insight into the perceived supports and challenges of progression and community integration in this population. 

Debbie Campbell, Head of OLR, commented:

“This study provides the opportunity to understand the perceived facilitators and barriers to release and community integration in this group; this is vital to support rehabilitation and ensure public protection.”

This research is designed to improve understanding of ways in which we can safely support progression and community reintegration. The findings suggest that individuals on the OLR experience working towards release and the transition from prison to community as challenging. However, once in the community, support is largely positive.  

Mark McSherry. Chief Executive, added:  

“We are publishing a number of studies to develop our understanding and evidence of what works in addressing serious sexual and violent offending. This important study highlights both the challenges of progression within custody and the positive support available within the community and will inform a wider review undertaken by the RMA.” 

The findings are useful for considering next steps in research and developing practice in Scotland. The research report includes a series of recommendations to support improved understanding and progression for individuals subject to the sentence.  

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