This article explores the complexities of the interplay between structural and agentic changes in 21 young offenders’ lives as they start to stop offending. The young people’s ability to desist from crime was dependent upon their engagement with a ‘hook for change’, their development of prosocial relationships and ‘knifing off’ of elements of their offending past, the extent of their identity change, and their confidence about desistance. Desistance was less likely in the absence of a ‘hook’ and where offenders were running a ‘condemnation script’. The study challenges previous research that argues that desistance from crime in adolescence is unlikely.
Gráinne McMahon, Deborah Jump
Youth Justice, April 1, 2018