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Desistance and the State: Revisiting the Individualization Thesis in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Monica Barry, Stephen Farrall y Alan France
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Monica Barry, Stephen Farrall, Alan France, Desistance and the State: Revisiting the Individualization Thesis in Criminology and Criminal Justice (23.05.2024), Beltz Juventa, 69469 Weinheim, ISSN: 0341-1966, 2022 #3, S.181

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Descripción / Abstract

The growing influence of neo-liberalism in crime policy and practice has resulted in the responsibilization of individuals: criminality and risk tend now to be seen as operating at the individual level, rather than the structural level. Individuals are solely responsible for their actions, not only in starting offending but also in stopping, and are to blame for their own predicament (an epistemological fallacy). Herein, we argue that structural barriers to rehabilitation and reintegration were erected by political decision making from the 1980s. This resulted in criminal justice practitioners increasingly focussing on individual-level factors (cognition, agency, employability) and neglecting the structural causes of offending. We thus propose that the state take a more proactive stance in reducing reoffending and fostering opportunities for reintegration through broader social welfarism, rather than penal policies.

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