This study empirically assessed individual subjective considerations in desistance from crime by examining the relationship between “good identities,” intentional self-change, and desistance from crime using survival time data from a sample of serious drug-troubled adult offenders released from prison, whose arrest records were followed for almost 20 years.
Theories of desistance from crime have emphasized social processes like involvement in adult social bonds or prosocial social relationships to the deliberate neglect of individual subjective processes such as one’s identity. More recent theories, however, have stressed the role of identity and human agency in the desistance process. An important set of questions is whether identity theory adds anything to existing theories, and whether there is empirical evidence to suggest that such subjective processes are important. The implications of the current study’s findings for all brands of criminal desistance theory are discussed. 56 references (Publisher abstract modified)
Date Published: September 1, 2016