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'I am the person now I was always meant to be': identity reconstruction and narrative reframing in therapeutic community prisons

Stevens, Alisa (2012) 'I am the person now I was always meant to be': identity reconstruction and narrative reframing in therapeutic community prisons Criminology and Criminal Justice, 12, (5), pp. 527-547. (doi:10.1177/1748895811432958).

Record type: Article


Drawing upon semi-ethnographic research, this article explores desistance in process among serious offenders residing in democratic therapeutic communities. It is argued that offender rehabilitation in therapeutic communities involves a process of purposive and agentic reconstruction of identity and narrative reframing, so that a ‘new’ and ‘better’ person emerges whose attitudes and behaviours cohere with long-term desistance from crime. This is possible because the prison-based therapeutic community, with its commitment to a radically ‘different’ culture and mode of rehabilitation, socially enables, produces and reinforces the emergence of someone ‘different’. The article therefore develops existing understandings of change in forensic therapeutic communities, and reaffirms theories of desistance which emphasize the importance of pro-social changes to the offender’s personal identity and self-narrative.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 9 January 2012
Published date: November 2012
Keywords: desistance, identity, prisons, rehabilitation, self-narrative, therapeutic community
Organisations: Social Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 341210
ISSN: 1748-8958
PURE UUID: 4905f2f1-2227-457e-88dc-3e710c1064a1

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2012 15:25
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:37

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Author: Alisa Stevens

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