SCCJR Seminar: ‘The role of interpersonal trust in desistance processes.’

Speaker:  Professor Thomas Ugelvik, University of Oslo, Norway


Chair: Dr Hannah Graham, University of Stirling

Abstract: The growing research literature on desistance processes – broadly defined as the process where repeat offenders stop offending and turn their attention to leading a law-abiding life – has not yet given much attention to the concept of trust.

In this paper, my aim is to use this concept to address the important empirical question of how the experience of being trusted can be a turning point in people’s lives. I am going to focus on the relationship between current and former prisoners and various members of their extended networks, employers, neighbours and co-workers, as well as family members. I will argue that the experience of being trusted can lead to hope and the belief that a better future is possible.

The paper is based on data collected for the ORES project, an ongoing study of prison release, the re-entry process and desistance from crime in Norway.

Biography: Thomas Ugelvik holds a PhD in criminology from the University of Oslo from 2010. His research interests include prisons, prison cultures and general penology; immigration control, immigration detention and crimmigration; crime and the media; gender/masculinity issues; and cultural criminology.

He has published in journals such as British Journal of Criminology, European Journal of Criminology, Ethnography, Punishment and Society and Qualitative Inquiry. He is series co-editor of the book series Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology.