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NCJ Number: 250656 Find in a Library
Title: Roads Diverge: Long-Term Patterns of Relapse, Recidivism, and Desistance for a Cohort of Drug Involved Offenders
Author(s): Ronet Bachman; Erin Kerrison; Daniel O'Connell; Raymond Paternoster
Date Published: June 2013
Page Count: 180
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2008-IJ-CX-0017
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a mixed-methods research design, this study followed former drug-involved offenders for just over 20 years after their release from prison in order to examine the mechanisms and processes of their desistance from crime and drug use.
Abstract: Interviews with the participants (n=304) found that the vast majority of offenders who had successfully desisted from both crime and drug use first transformed their self-consciousness from an “offender identity” into a “non-offender working identity.” This was the case for both racial and gender groups interviewed. This cognitive change was typically motivated by respondents’ realization that if they did not change their criminal and drug-using behaviors, they would likely have an early death from drug effects or their criminal lifestyle. In order to reinforce their new “non-offender” identity, study participants used various tools, including increased interaction with law-abiding friends and staying away from locations that triggered their drug use or criminal behavior. Although treatment usually did not result in immediate desistance from drug use and criminal behavior for most involved in this study, the majority who desisted from drug use and crime relied on behavioral tools learned in treatment in order to sustain desistance from drug use and crime. Many cited religion as an important resource for maintaining their desistance from drug use and crime. Contrary to life-course theory, romantic partnerships and parenthood were not prominent factors in desistance from drug use and crime; however, rekindling relationships with adult children or grandchildren was an important factor for many respondents. Although being employed was not a primary factor in desistence from crime and drug use, the maintenance of a “non-offender” identity was more difficult when meaningful employment was not a central feature of a “non-offender” identity.
Main Term(s): Drug offenders
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Desistance from Crime; Employment-crime relationships; National Institute of Justice (NIJ); NIJ grant-related documents; Self concept; Social conditions
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