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Desistance From Crime Over the Life Course

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $998,221)

Research Triangle Institute, in partnership with Pennsylvania State University, will conduct a study that will contribute to our understanding of the factors associated with desistance from criminal activity over the life course. The specific objective of this study is to examine the factors associated with desistance from crime among a large group of male and female offenders in two states (Indiana and South Carolina) who participated in an evaluation of the effectiveness of prisoner reentry programs in 2004-2007 (Multistate Evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative [SVORI]). This long-term follow-up leverages extant administrative and interview data on those individuals that provided extensive information on individual characteristics, attitudes, service and program needs and receipt, and recidivism. Thus, this effort provides an opportunity to extend earlier research on program effects. And this project explicitly incorporates an in-depth examination of the role of cognitive transformation in the desistance process. The study has the following goals:
* Identify classes in the sample with distinct offending trajectories, including desistance trajectories, for all crimes and for violent and nonviolent crimes;
* Assess the relationship between transformation and desistance trajectories; and
* Assess the relationships between receipt of practical and individual change services and transformation and the moderating effects of transformation on the effects of these services on desistance trajectories.
Research Subjects: The sample will include approximately 700 (males and females) individuals in two states who were originally interviewed between 2004 and 2005 as participants in the SVORI evaluation.
Research Design and Methods: Mixed methods - principally descriptive data analysis (Growth Mixture Modeling, Latent Transition Analysis) and subject interviews. This research will build on earlier research by explicitly measuring and examining the effects of cognitive transformation on desistance. The research will involve the acquisition and processing of official arrest records, incarceration, acquisition of mortality data, interview data collection, and analysis.

Date Created: August 29, 2012