Desistance from crime – the process through which people cease and refrain from offending – is a research topic that is of significant import for criminal justice policy and practice. Staff of the SCCJR have already made a number of contributions to debates about how policy and practice could and should respond to the findings of desistance research. For example, we contributed to a recent ESRC/Scottish Executive Public Policy Seminar on Reducing Reoffending (for details see:   here)

A review of the implications of desistance research for criminal justice policy, which provides 8 key principles to promote desistance through the justice system, has recently been published by the Scottish Consortium on Crime and Criminal Justice. This review has been cited both in House of Lords debates on the Offender Managment Act and by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in Scotland. The report can be accessed in project documents below.      

We also contributed an important literature review on ‘Reducing Reoffending: Key Skills’  to the 21st Century Review of Social Work (see: ReducingReoffending.pdf)

More generally, debates about desistance and criminal justice social work are also covered in some detail in McNeill, F. and Whyte, B. (2007), Reducing Reoffending: Social Work and Community Justice in Scotland (Cullompton: Willan).

Project Documents Giving Up Crime: Directions For Policy PDF

Young People and Youth Justice

Criminal Justice Process and Institutions

Associated People

Prof Fergus McNeill

University of Glasgow