Jessica Cleary

PhD Student

University of Stirling


Working Title of PhD: Exploring the influence of desistance theory within community justice policies and initiatives for women in Scotland.

Year commenced PhD study: 2018

Institution/Organisation: University of Stirling

Funding Source: ESRC

Full or part-time: Full Time

PhD Supervisors: Dr Margaret Malloch and Dr Hannah Graham

Synopsis of PhD: This PhD aims to develop a more intersectional understanding of how desistance-focused research and theories have constructed and influenced Community Justice policies and services for women in Scotland. The research aims to examine how academics and policymakers can better address current limitations within Scottish Community Justice initiatives to more successfully incorporate gendered differences within the desistance process into future policy construction.

The methodological approach triangulates policy analysis, exploring sector professional’s perspectives and examining the narratives of women with convictions. A three-staged qualitative methodology has been proposed which will initially analysis policy discourse of both existing and emerging Community Justice policies in order to examine what social, political and academic factors have influenced the construction of policy. Second, by conducting interviews with Scottish Government policymakers; senior experts and sector leaders; and women with convictions, this research aims to understand how these policies influence women’s pathways to desistance. Finally, in order to examine how successfully policy translates into practice this PhD will utilise focus groups with front-line practitioners.
This study into the intersectionality of gender and desistance is situated in area of growing popularity for policy makers and academic; especially within the current emerging landscape of changing Criminal Justice policy for women and the national restructuring of Community Justice provision.

Keywords: Desistance theory, Scottish Community Justice, Women with convictions



University of Stirling

University of Stirling
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University of Stirling

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