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Doing time after time: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of reformed ex-prisoners' experiences of self-change, identity and career opportunities

Aresti, A. and Eatough, Virginia and Brooks-Gordon, Belinda (2010) Doing time after time: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of reformed ex-prisoners' experiences of self-change, identity and career opportunities. Psychology, Crime and Law 16 (3), pp. 169-190. ISSN 1068-316X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683160802516273

Abstract

The study of desistance from crime has generated a wealth of research in the last few decades. Despite the many barriers ex-prisoners face when attempting to 'go straight' many successfully lead law-abiding lives. Two key features identified in criminal desistance are a shift to a pro-social identity and worthwhile employment or the development of a new career path. There is, however, little psychological knowledge available on reformed offenders' experiences of self-change. This study focuses on ex-prisoners' experiences of employment and career opportunities. Five male reformed offenders took part in semi-structured interviews. Data collected was subjected to an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Participants demonstrated that desistance involves a shift to a pro-social identity and that self-change was a positive experience. An important aspect to emerge was the conflict experienced by the label 'ex-offender', which had a contradictory influence on the men's sense of self.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): desistance, labelling, prisoner, role conflict, social isolation
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2011 10:30
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:18
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/2183

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