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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229368 
Title: Looking-Glass Identity Transformation: Pygmalion and Golem in the Rehabilitation Process (From How Offenders Transform Their Lives, 30-55, 2009, Bonita M. Veysey, Johnna Christian, et al. eds., - See NCJ-229365)
Author(s): Shadd Maruna; Thomas P. LeBel; Michelle Naples; Nick Mitchell
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter briefly reviews the evidence in favor of the Golem and Pygmalion effects in the process of desisting from and persisting in crime, and is followed by an empirical illustration of how this identity process might work in practice by drawing on interview data from a study of an ex-prisoner reintegration program.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, the subject of 'desistance from crime' has become extremely popular in academic research. Desistance is a behavior concept. To 'cease and desist' means to stop offending and to abstain from committing further offending behavior. For former prisoners to desist from further offending can be challenging if those around the individual are treated like he/she is a danger and a threat causing him/her to internalize this view of them and fulfill the prediction by returning to criminal behavior. This is the central premise of labeling theory, also referred to as the 'Golem effect' in psychology: low expectations of a person typically lead to poor outcomes. Another use of labeling theory, which is the opposite of the Golem effect is the 'Pygmalion effect', the high expectations of others lead to greater self-belief and subsequent performance in an individual. This chapter focuses on the Pygmalion effect, arguing that personal transformation (or recovery in the highly related arena of addiction) also contains a looking-glass element. People start to believe that they can successfully change their lives when those around them start to believe they can. Tables, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Social reintegration
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Community-based corrections (adult); Crime prediction; Ex-offenders; Inmate attitudes; Inmate release plans; Labeling theory; Post-release programs; Recidivism; Recidivism prediction; Rehabilitation
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