The pains of desistance

Nugent, B. and Schinkel, M. (2016) The pains of desistance. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 16(5), pp. 568-584. (doi: 10.1177/1748895816634812)

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Desistance is generally presented in a positive light, with themes of ‘making good’ and generativity recurring in the literature. This article reports on two qualitative studies exploring the desistance journeys of two different groups of ex-offenders, drawing attention to the pains of this process. It examines the possible consequences of these ‘pains of desistance’ and how they are linked to three spheres of desistance: act-desistance; identity desistance; and relational desistance. The attempt to achieve act-desistance often led to the pain of isolation for our interviewees, while the clash between the need to achieve identity desistance and a lack of relational desistance (especially on the meso- and macro-levels) meant that they suffered the pain of goal failure. The pains of isolation and goal failure combined to lead to the further pain of hopelessness. Those interviewed were indeed ‘going straight’, but taking this path led many to a limited and often diminished life.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schinkel, Dr Marguerite
Authors: Nugent, B., and Schinkel, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Criminology and Criminal Justice
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1748-8966
Published Online:17 March 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Criminology and Criminal Justice 16(5):568-584
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
591541ESRC Doctoral Training Centre 2011...Mary Beth KneafseyEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/J500136/1VICE PRINCIPAL RESEARCH & ENTERPRISE