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Staying Out

Staying Out

Chapter:
(p.193) 10 Staying Out
Source:
After Life Imprisonment
Author(s):
Marieke Liem
Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479806928.003.0010

Chapter ten delves deeper into the factors the interviewees mentioned as key to staying out. These included aging out of crime, a healthy fear for the conditions of parole, and self-efficacy, or having a sense of choice and control over one’s life. Non-incarcerated interviewees, as opposed to re-incarcerated individuals, reflected a strong sense of agency in their narrative. The process of desistance is thus not the result of societal forces, as emphasized by life-course theorists. Nor does it seem to be a resolution of an individual to change, as the vast majority of interviewees said that they underwent a transformation leading to a better version of themselves. What seems to be crucial for lifers in being successful in staying out on parole is a combination of social support structures, having regained a sense of control, and a strong awareness of the restraints that govern their day-to-day life.

Keywords:   desistance, life-course theory, cognitive transformation, lifers, parole, awareness, agency, self-efficacy, choice, control

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