Rethinking turning points: trajectories of parenthood and desistance

Schinkel, M. (2019) Rethinking turning points: trajectories of parenthood and desistance. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology, 5, pp. 366-386. (doi: 10.1007/s40865-019-00121-8)

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Purpose: While much research has examined the role of parenthood in desistance, it has largely treated parenthood as a binary condition. This article examines the interaction between trajectories of parenthood and trajectories of desistance in order to understand how these interact over time. Methods: This article is based on life story interviews with 29 men and women in Scotland who had experienced repeated short-term imprisonment and mentioned children as significant in their lives, ten of whom were interviewed again 2 years later. Results: While becoming pregnant was a (very) positive turning point for many of the women, trauma surrounding parenthood through pregnancy loss, lack of conception and losing the parental role had a clear negative effect on trajectories of desistance.Men had similar experiences, although pregnancy was only a turning point for them if they felt their partner was not fulfilling their role as mother-to-be. Conclusion: A more nuance understanding of the lives of people processed by the criminal justice system is needed, looking beyond their interactions with the criminal justice system and not only in relation to parenthood but also with regard to other frequently cited 'turning points' such as work and relationships.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schinkel, Dr Marguerite
Authors: Schinkel, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
ISSN (Online):2199-465X
Published Online:30 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology 5:366-386
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
619601Lives sentenced: the punishment careers of persistent offendersMarguerite Lucile SchinkelEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K009389/1SPS - SOCIOLOGY