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The Dynamics of Desistance : Charting Pathways Through Change - Dr. Deirdre Healy

The Dynamics of Desistance

Charting Pathways Through Change

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Published: 1st May 2010
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It is well-established that the majority of youth offenders cease to commit crime in early adulthood, but the mechanisms behind the shift from a criminal to a conventional lifestyle are not fully understood. The Dynamics of Desistance aims to contribute to this nascent area of inquiry by providing a phenomenological account of the psychosocial processes involved in desistance from crime.

Drawing on a variety of methods, including in-depth interviews with repeat offenders and their probation officers, police records and psychometric scores, this book charts the early stages of a journey taken by individuals who exist in the liminal space 'betwixt and between' crime and convention. A combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis is used to explore the shifts that occur in desisters' minds and lives as they make the often turbulent transition to a crime-free life, and the dynamic processes that occur at this psychosocial boundary are described.

The theoretical and practical implications of the findings in this book are explored in relation to key issues in desistance literature, and as such this book provides a key resource for academics and students working with the area of probation, as well as practitioners in involved in probation, social work and parole supervision.

'A de-escalation of offending behaviour illustrates perfectly how desistance is often located between offending and non-offending. But to comprehend how offenders arrive at this ambiguous state may require more than a retrospective study; it may, as Healy herself recognises, be necessary to 'document the process of reform as it happens' (p. 172). If future researchers on desistance take these steps, in Healy's study they have a wonderful resource on which they can build.' -- Barry Vaughan, Policy Anayst, National Economic and Social Council, Dublin in The Howard Journal Vol 50 No 1. February 2011 'This book is an early contribution to a very welcome series, which aims to support critical debate and discussion around desistance and rehabilitation.' '...helpful and productive...will be of interest to, and will reward the effort of, a broader range of readers...' 'The author's style of writing is clear and easy to understand and I found her explanation of concepts at the beginning of the book, her detailed account of her findings, clearly related to that early explanation and her pulling together of key issues at the end, to be full of useful detail. She doesn't serve up glib or easy answers, but does provide a rich seam, both of thinking and of evidence...' -Bernadette Wilkinson KWP, Independent Trainer and Consultant in Criminal Justice

List of tables and figuresp. vii
General Editor's Introductionp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Desistance and reintegrationp. 1
Crime across the life coursep. 2
Different shades of greyp. 5
Understanding desistancep. 8
Rehabilitation and reintegrationp. 14
Issues and challengesp. 20
Agency, cognition and identity: the psychology of desistancep. 20
Social bonds, society and culture: the contexts of changep. 26
Opening the 'Black Box'p. 32
Liminality and change: offenders on the thresholdp. 35
Person and placep. 39
Setting the scenep. 39
Exploring psychosocial pathwaysp. 44
Profiling offenders in transitionp. 52
Thinking, attitudes and social circumstancesp. 60
Defining desistancep. 60
Secondary desistance: a psychometric analysisp. 64
Primary desistance: a psychometric analysisp. 67
A psychosocial modelp. 69
Multiple roads to desistancep. 78
Becoming 'normal'p. 79
Curved pathwaysp. 93
Going round in circlesp. 98
Into the cruciblep. 102
Shame, redemption and the pastp. 103
Creating a new selfp. 110
Barriers, coping and social supportp. 117
A catalyst for change?p. 126
Advising, assisting and befriendingp. 127
Support of surveillance?p. 132
Experiences of probationp. 135
Facilitators and constraintsp. 137
Looking forwardp. 148
Desistance: a long-term perspectivep. 149
Nature and extent of reoffendingp. 151
Who desists?p. 158
Betwixt and betweenp. 167
Turning points, transitions and transformationsp. 167
Ever-decreasing circlesp. 173
Reconstructing reality: the role of personal mythsp. 176
Desistance in practice: a new agenda?p. 178
Appendixp. 188
Referencesp. 192
Indexp. 210
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781843927839
ISBN-10: 1843927837
Series: International Series on Desistance and Rehabilitation
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 1st May 2010
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1