An exploration of the impact desistance research and literature has had on government intervention policies to reduce reoffending

Ledger, Ann (2016) An exploration of the impact desistance research and literature has had on government intervention policies to reduce reoffending. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Traditionally work with offenders aimed at reducing crime focused on practical elements to help the individual overcome his/her social circumstances. There was an assumption that this practical support would lead to a reduction in offending. Missing from this traditional approach was the mechanism by which practical support would lead to crime reduction. The focus of this dissertation has been firstly on the success (or otherwise) of interventions based on cognitive behavioural principles aimed at bridging the gap between the aforementioned practical support and crime reduction. The second focus has been on how desistance research and literature informed interventions aimed at changing the way offenders think and might also inform future crime reduction policy. The findings of the dissertation are that interventions based on cognitive behavioural principles do have a positive impact on rates of reoffending, however, it is also found that for an individual to learn from and complete such a programme he/she needs to be ready to change. In addition it has been found that desistance research and literature has arguably been a search for knowledge about how individuals desist on their own and hence has had a muted impact on crime reduction policy. The dissertation also highlights the importance of family relationships and structural relationships (i.e. employment, marriage, accommodation) that underpin the process of desistance. It is found that desistance research and literature suggests that interventions aimed at changing the offender are likely to have limited effect on reducing crime unless economic and social interventions are also implemented. The dissertation therefore suggests there is a need for further research into programmes to create greater opportunities for offenders to play an active part in society.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 15:00
    Last Modified: 20 Jan 2017 15:00
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/22755

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