Friday, 12 July 2013

Perceptions of work as a route away from crime

an article by Sam King (Based in the Department of Criminology, University of Leicester, UK) published in Safer Communities Volume 12 Issue 3 (2013)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceptions of work as a means of desisting from crime among a group of male probationers.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with male probationers to ascertain their views on desistance from crime and the factors which would enable or constrain them in their endeavours.

The research found that individuals regard employment as a key conduit to maintaining desistance from crime, but that several barriers exist to achieving this. Crucially, the research found that individuals identified various difficulties associated with external agencies to whom they had been referred for assistance in obtaining employment. This poses questions of the current government’s approach towards expanding public-private partnerships in probation.

Research limitations/implications
The research is based on a small sample of 20 male probationers. However, the findings suggest that further research should be conducted in this area.

Social implications
The research raises questions about recent government policy in this area, and about the effectiveness of some approaches designed to reduce reoffending.

The research examines an area of desistance which has previously received little attention. The findings are of concern for academics and practitioners concerned with desistance and recidivism.

Hazel’s comment:
And also of concern, I would have thought, for practitioners trying to help ex-offenders find and retain suitable employment.

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