Pros And Cons Of Desistance

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According to some life-course research, eventually crime declines with age for all offenders. In other words, desistance occurred for even the most active offenders and life-course persisters. Based on this observation, someone might suggest that, since desistance is inevitable, we really don’t need to worry, sooner or later everyone stops offending so “let’s focus on something else.” Furthermore, one might ask “why do we need to incarcerate offenders into their 50s, 60s, or even 70s when the risk of criminal persistence is statistically nonexistent and in all probability desistance has occurred?” How would you respond to these two assertions?
Our text (Schmalleger) explains desistance as the cessation of criminal activity or the termination of a period of involvement in offending behavior; desistance is broken down in two (2) types, unaided and aided. Unaided desistance would be the type that occurs without any formal assistance from criminal justice programs or agencies, aided desistance would be the type that occurs with formal assistance from criminal justice programs or agencies (Schmalleger, 2012, p. 197).
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In 1985, Walter R Grove proposed his theory of biopsychosocial desistance, which basically saw it as a natural aging process covering five (5) areas. 1) shift from self absorption to caring for others 2) accept societal values and behave in acceptable ways 3) become comfortable with social relations 4) activities with show concern for others 5) concern with the meaning with life (Schmalleger, 2012, p.
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