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NCJ Number: 219089 Find in a Library
Title: Narrative Identity and Offender Rehabilitation
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:51  Issue:3  Dated:June 2007  Pages:279-297
Author(s): Tony Ward; Bill Marshall
Date Published: June 2007
Page Count: 19
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the concept of "narrative identity" (behavioral strategies for fulfilling personal needs, having valued experiences, and creating a lifestyle reflective of personal goals) and its link to values, assessment, and treatment for offenders.
Abstract: The authors first discuss the rehabilitative process and the kinds of changes offenders are typically required to make in a treatment program. The discussion focuses on sex offenders, since this is the offender group that has been studied by the authors. They believe, however, that the concept of narrative identity as a focus of assessment and treatment applies to all types of offenders. The article then examines the concept of narrative identity and its relationship to values and life projects. In this discussion, the authors clarify their views of human nature and explore implications of how human nature is expressed in various socio-cultural contexts. The authors then explain in detail the implications of this perspective for the assessment and treatment of offenders. A principal feature of the authors' thinking is that if offenders are autonomous agents who partially shape their lives according to their values, then the separation of treatment into modules is artificial and counterproductive. It also magnifies the importance of process factors, such as the therapeutic alliance, in the change process. This is because the setting of life goals and strategies for working toward them is the essence of a narrative identity. The authors conclude the article with a discussion of the research and theoretical implications of their arguments. 45 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Behavior patterns; Behavioral objectives; Individual behavior; Treatment intervention model; Treatment offender matching; Treatment techniques
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