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The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context

On-line version ISSN 1989-4007Print version ISSN 1889-1861


MARTIN, Ana M.; PADRON, Federica  and  REDONDO, Santiago. Early narratives of desistance from crime in different prison regimes. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context [online]. 2019, vol.11, n.2, pp.71-79.  Epub Oct 26, 2020. ISSN 1989-4007.

Priority given to investigating the onset and maintenance of criminal behavior in the past is currently giving way to a new focus on the process of criminal desistance. Early narratives of future desistance are the first step in this process and, although they do not assure withdrawal from crime, they are the beginning of the personal change that precedes a progressive desistance from criminal activity. This study analyzes early desistance narratives of offenders still in prison and whether these narratives differed depending on their personal, criminal, and social characteristics. Participants were 44 imprisoned male offenders, aged between 20 and 50 years old at different stages of their sentence and in three different prison regimes. They were interviewed using Cid and Martí’s protocol and their accounts were accordingly coded in three categories: early narratives towards a non-criminal identity, perceived self-efficacy to desist from crime, and will to desist. The results show that participants’ early desistance narratives vary depending on their personal, criminal, and social variables. Results on the periods of sentence completion and prison regimes are discussed in terms of how prisons could contribute to enhancing the narratives of desistance from crime.

Keywords : Criminal desistance; Early desistance narratives; Prison regimes; Identity change; Self-efficacy.

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