Co-authoring desistance narratives: Analysing interactions in groupwork for addressing sexual offending

Eve Mullins*, Steve Kirkwood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Research and theory suggest desistance narratives and pro-social identities are key to the process of desistance from crime. However, little research has examined how desistance narratives and related identities are produced in contexts other than research interviews or how core correctional skills intersect with the development of these narratives or identities. This study applies discourse analysis and conversation analysis to transcripts of 12 video-recordings of groupwork sessions for addressing sexual offending, examining how desistance narratives and identities are produced, and how practitioner skills and conversational styles intersect with their production. The analysis illustrates how criminal justice practitioners help to co-author desistance narratives through subtle and explicit aspects of interaction, although certain orientations to risk may limit this potential.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-333
Number of pages18
JournalCriminology & Criminal Justice
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • desistance
  • probation
  • narrative
  • conversation analysis


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