Desistance in action: An interactional approach to criminal justice practice and desistance from offending

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on the role of narrative and identity in desistance from crime tends to rely on interview methods. This article argues research and theory on desistance and interventions for addressing offending would be enriched by the qualitative analysis of interactions between criminal justice practitioners and service users. This approach is illustrated by applying discourse analysis and conversation analysis to video recordings of a groupwork programme for addressing offending behaviour. The analysis shows that: 1) service users may exhibit ambivalence to pro-social identities; 2) practitioners may orient to this resistance and encourage positive change; 3) other group members’ change narratives constitute resources to support desistance. This illustrates how an interactional approach to desistance can enhance understandings of practice and change processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-237
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Volume20
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • desistance
  • identity
  • interaction
  • conversation analysis
  • discourse analysis

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