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NCJ Number: 207032 Find in a Library
Title: Desistance-Focused Criminal Justice Policy Research: Introduction to a Special Issue on Desistance From Crime and Public Policy
Journal: The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:43  Issue:4  Dated:September 2004  Pages:358-367
Author(s): Stephen Farrall; Shadd Maruna
Date Published: September 2004
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article explores why people stop offending.
Abstract: The growth of interest in desistance was partly the result of a wave of longitudinal research projects, which had been initiated prior to the 1990’s. For example, the Cambridge Study of Delinquent Development was started in 1961 when the boys in the sample were 8 years old. Ten years later when they were all aged 18 years, they were all well past the peak age of offending, which at that time was approximately 15 years of age. By the mid- to late-1970’s, a sizable bulk of these cohorts consisted of young people whose offending had decelerated or who had ceased offending altogether. The result was that many researchers, who had originally anticipated studying involvement in crime over the course of a lifetime, were left having to explain the cessation of involvement in crime by many of their cohort members. Research was driven at this point because criminology had a rich and growing body of theoretical work on the topic of desistance from crime and a newly reinvigorated focus on the effectiveness of interventions that were empirically solid, but theoretically lacking. When continuing research focused on desistance-led policy it was revealed through Julie Leibrich’s New Zealand Study that 48 men and women previously sentenced to probation had remained conviction free for about 3 years. The study presents some new information regarding probation: few people mentioned probation to have been a factor in their desistance, and only half of the researchers thought probation was helpful. There are also considerable amounts of research in the "What Works" category. Research over the "What Works" and desistance divide investigates the role of probation supervision in encouraging desistance. Finally, desistance research is growing into a full program of research and areas of the new research will soon be fed into the policy arena and vice versa. References
Main Term(s): Offenders; Probation
Index Term(s): Juvenile case studies; Longitudinal studies; Offender advocates; Recidivism causes
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