Briege completed her PhD with the SCCJR – Locked out, locked in: Young People, adulthood and desistance from crime – in 2017. The research focused on how to enable young people to disengage successfully from reliance upon support services after the age of 18, and a major issue for theory and research, namely how progress towards desistance from crime fares in the face of major life transitions and critical events. This project involved intensive engagement with a number of young people approaching this moment of graduation. A qualitative longitudinal methodology permitted a nuanced understanding of changes in the life, circumstances and outlook of people on each side of transitional events, and thus a linking of contexts, mechanisms and outcomes at the individual level. The method thus permitted attention not only to formal/professional roles but also to informal/personal dimensions that may promote or inhibit desistance. The research involved a series of extended interviews with young people, and their key-workers and supporters over a fieldwork period of about 18 months.
Keywords: Young offenders, desistance, throughcare