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Theorizing structural and individual-level processes in desistance and persistence: outlining an integrated perspective

Farrall, Stephen; Sharpe, Gilly; Hunter, Ben; Calverley, Adam

Authors

Stephen Farrall

Gilly Sharpe

Ben Hunter

Adam Calverley



Abstract

In this paper we outline our current thinking on the processes associated with desistance from crime. This work, conducted as part of the theoretical apparatus of a fifth sweep of interviews with a cohort of ex-probationers originally interviewed for the first time in the late 1990s – but which, by implication holds lessons for those researching people leaving prison – is an attempt to build an account of the processes which help to shape the speed, nature and direction of an individual’s efforts to avoid further offending. In it we develop an account of desistance which draws on thinking about macro-level structures and meso-level influences whilst retaining sufficient room for individual agency. Our account, whilst based on what we have learnt from the previous four sweeps of interviews with this cohort and other studies we have undertaken, nevertheless remains a ‘work in progress’. We describe briefly the design and aims of the fifth sweep of interviews towards the end of the article.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011-08
Journal Australian And New Zealand Journal Of Criminology
Print ISSN 0004-8658
Electronic ISSN 1837-9273
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 2
Pages 218-234
APA6 Citation Farrall, S., Sharpe, G., Hunter, B., & Calverley, A. (2011). Theorizing structural and individual-level processes in desistance and persistence: outlining an integrated perspective. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 44(2), (218-234). doi:10.1177/0004865811405136. ISSN 0004-8658
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0004865811405136
Keywords agency, desistance, probation, qualitative longitudinal research, structuration,
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