Advertisement

Desistance from Sexual Offending and Risk Management

  • Joanne L. Hulley
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society book series (PSRCS)

Abstract

This chapter focuses on empirical research exploring desistance from sexual offending in a sample of 15 men, convicted of at least 1 sexual offence involving a child. The men had served prison sentences of varying lengths and had since been residing in the community for periods ranging from 1 to 15 years. Risk management practices adopted by supervising police officers appeared to vary widely, both across and within police force areas.

Findings indicate that respondents in receipt of a rigid law enforcement model of risk management solely based on strategies that control and mitigate risk were less likely to view their supervision as legitimate, more likely to develop an antagonistic attitude to their supervising police officer, and less likely to experience desistance involving internal change. Instead, desistance appeared to be underpinned by simple deterrence. In contrast, those in receipt of a strengths-based approach to risk management, involving the development and strengthening of client’s protective factors, were more likely to report a good relationship with their police officer and experience desistance involving (often slowly emerging) identity change. The Active Risk Management System (ARMS), a structured risk assessment and management planning tool designed to assess both dynamic factors known to be related to sexual recidivism, together with protective factors that might support the desistance process, has recently been implemented across all police forces in England and Wales. Findings from the current research indicate that this approach is more likely to encourage desistance involving internal change in this offender type.

Keywords

Desistance Sexual offending Risk 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, award ES/J500215/1

References

  1. Andrews, D. A., Bonta, J., & Hoge, R. D. (1990). Classification for effective rehabilitation: Rediscovering psychology. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 17, 19–52. doi: 10.1177/0093854890017001004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barry, M. (2007). Effective approaches to risk assessment in social work: An international literature review. Edinburgh: Education information and analyticalservices, scottish executive [online]. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/194419/0052192.pdf. Last accessed 18 Jan 2017.
  3. Becker, H. (1963). Outsiders: Studies in the sociology of deviance. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bows, H., & Westmarland, N. (2017). Older sex offenders – Managing risk in the community from a policing perspective. Policing and Society [forthcoming]. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10439463.2016.1138476
  5. Brown, S. (2005). Treating sex offenders: An introduction to sex offender treatment programmes. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Bushway, S. D., Piquero, A. R., Broidy, L. M., Cauffman, E., & Mazerolle, P. (2001). An empirical framework for studying desistance as a process. Criminology, 39, 491–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Church, W. T., Sun, F., & Li, X. (2011). Attitudes towards the treatment of sex offenders: A SEM analysis. Journal of Forensic Social Work, 1(1), 82–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Criminal Justice Joint Inspection. (2010). Restriction and rehabilitation: Getting the right mix. An inspection of the management of sexual offenders in the community. Joint inspection by her majesty’s inspectorate of probation and her majesty’s inspectorate of constabulary. London: CJJI. http://www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/probation/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2014/03/Sex_Offenders_Report-rps.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  9. Day, A. (2014). Professional attitudes to sex offenders. Implications for multiagency and collaborative working. Sexual Abuse in Australia and New Zealand, 6(1), 12. http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=775756308532845;res=IELNZC. ISSN: 1833–8488. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  10. Digard, L. (2010). When legitimacy is denied: Offender perceptions of the prison recall system. Probation Journal, 57(1), 43–61. doi: 10.1177/0264550509354672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Menard, S. (1989). Multiple problem youth: Delinquency, substance use, and mental health problems. New York: Springer-Verlag.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Farmer, M., Beech, A., & Ward, T. (2012). Assessing desistance in child molesters: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(5), 930–950. doi: 10.1177/0886260511423255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Farmer, M., McAlinden, A-M., & Maruna, S. (2015). Understanding desistance from sexual offending: A thematic review of research findings. Probation Journal, 62(4), 320–335. doi: 10.1177/0264550515600545. Available at: http://pure.qub.ac.uk/portal/files/15408452/Understanding_Desistance_from_Sexual_Offending_Final_accepted_and_version_April_2015.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  14. Farrall, S. (2002). Rethinking what works with offenders: Probation, social context and desistance from crime. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  15. Farrall, S., & Calverley, A. (2006). Understanding desistance from crime. Theoretical directions in resettlement and rehabilitation. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Farrington, D. P., & Wikström, P.-O. H. (1994). Criminal careers in London and Stockholm: A cross-national comparative study. In E. Weitekamp & H.-J. Kerner (Eds.), Cross-national longitudinal research on human development and criminal behavior. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  17. Feeley, M. & Simon, J. (1992). The New Penology. Notes on the emerging strategy of corrections and its implications. Criminology, 30(4), 449–474. Available at: http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/facpubs/718. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  18. Garland, D. (2000). The culture of high crime societies: Some preconditions of recent ‘law and order’ policies. British Journal of Criminology, 40(3), 347–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Giodarno, P., Cernkovich, S. A., & Rudolph, J. L. (2002). Gender, crime and desistance: Toward a theory of cognitive transformation. The American Journal of Sociology, 107(4), 990–1064. Available at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.468.7272&rep=rep1&type=pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  20. Harris, D. A. (2014). Desistance from sexual offending: Findings from 21 life history narratives. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(9), 1554–1578. doi: 10.1177/0886260513511532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Healy, D. (2012). Advise, assist and befriend: Can probation supervision support desistance? Social Policy and Administration, 46(4), 377–394. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2012.00839.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Healy, D. (2014). Becoming a desister: Exploring the role of agency, coping and imagination in the construction of a new self. British Journal of Criminology, 54(5), 873–891. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azu048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Höing, M. A., Petrina, R., Hare Duke, L., Völlm, B., & Vogelvang, B. (2016). Community support for sex offender rehabilitation in Europe. European Journal of Criminology, 13(4), 491–516. doi: 10.1177/1477370816633259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hudson, K. (2005). Offending identities: Sex offenders’ perspectives on their treatment and management. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  25. Hulley, J. L. (2011). Police opinions on the sex offender register and ‘Sarah’s Law’ in the UK (Unpublished MA thesis). Sheffield Hallam University.Google Scholar
  26. Ievins, A., & Crewe, B. (2015). ‘Nobody’s better than you, nobody’s worse than you’: Moral community among prisoners convicted of sexual offences. Punishment and Society, 17(4), 482–501. doi: 10.1177/1462474515603803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnson, H., Hughes, G. J., & Ireland, J. L. (2007). Attitudes towards sex offenders and the role of empathy, locus of control and training: a comparison between a probationer, police and general public sample. The Police Journal, 80(1), 28–54. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.979.8562&rep=rep1&type=pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  28. Kazemian, L. (2007). Desistance from crime: Theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy considerations. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 23(1), 5–27. doi: 10.1177/1043986206298940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kemshall, H. (2008). Understanding the community management of high risk offenders. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kewley, S. (forthcoming). Policing people with sexual convictions using strengths based approaches. Journal of Criminal Psychology, 7(3).Google Scholar
  31. Kewley, S., Beech, A., Harkins, L., & Bonsall, H.(2015). Effective risk management planning for those convicted of sexual offending. Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, 7(4), 237–257. http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/1336/. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  32. Kruttschnitt, C., Uggen, C., & Shelton, K. (2000). Predictors of desistance among sex offenders: The interaction of formal and informal social controls. Justice Quarterly, 17(1), 51–87. http://users.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/Kruttschnitt_Uggen_Shelton_JQ_00.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  33. Lacombe, D. (2008). Consumed with sex: The treatment of sex offenders in risk society. British Journal of Criminology, 48, 55–74. doi: 10.1093/bjc/azm051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Laub, J. H., & Sampson, R. J. (2001). Understanding desistance from crime. Crime and Justice, 28, 1–69. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=34093
  35. Laws, D., & Ward, T. (2011). Desistance from sex offending: Alternatives to throwing away the keys. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  36. Maruna, S. (2001). Making good: How ex-convicts reform and rebuild their lives. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maruna, S., & Farrall, S. (2004). Desistance from crime: A theoretical reformulation. Koelner Zeitschrift fuer Soziologie und Socialpsychologie, 43, 171–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McAdams, D., Diamond, A., deSt Aubin, E., & Mansfield, E. (1997). Stories of commitment: The psychosocial construction of generative lives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72(3), 678–694. https://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/en/publications/stories-of-commitment-the-psychosocial-construction-of-generative. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  39. McAlinden, A.-M. (2009). Employment opportunities and community re-integration of sex offenders in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Northern Ireland Office.Google Scholar
  40. McAlinden, A.-M. (2010). Vetting sexual offenders: State over-extension, the punishment deficit and the failure to manage risk. Social and Legal Studies, 19(1), 25–48. http://www.google.co.uk/url?url=http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/faculties/HLS/research/Documents/vetting-sexual-offenders.pdf&rct=j&frm=1&q=&esrc=s&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwjz_fGM55nTAhXrKMAKHVXNB7sQFggUMAA&usg=AFQjCNG4QAKVUi8dj25J6HIl_P0ajKsDnw. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  41. McAlinden, A.-M. (2011). From a ‘risks-’ to a ‘strengths-based’ model of offender resettlement. In S. Farrall, M. Hough, S. Maruna, & R. Sparks (Eds.), Escape routes: Contemporary perspectives on life after punishment. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  42. McNaughton Nicholls, C., & Webster, S. (2014). Sex offender management and dynamic risk: Pilot evaluation of the active risk management system (ARMS). London: NOMS. Available at: http://socialwelfare.bl.uk/subject-areas/services-activity/criminal-justice/ministryofjustice/162318sex-offender-management-and-dynamic-risk.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  43. McNeill, F. (2006). A desistance paradigm for offender management. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 6(1), 39–62. doi: 10.1177/1748895806060666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McNeill, F., Burns, N., Halliday, S., Hutton, N., & Tata, C. (2009). Risk, responsibility and reconfiguration: Penal adaptation and misadaptation. Punishment & Society, 11(4), 419–442. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/39482/1/39842.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  45. Meisenhelder, T. (1977). An exploratory study of exiting from criminal careers. Criminology, 15(3), 319–334. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1977.tb00069.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nash, M. (2008). Exit the polibation officer? Decoupling police and probation. International Journal of Police Science and Management, 10(3), 302–312. doi: 10.1350/ijps.2008.10.3.86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nash, M. (2016). ‘Scum cuddlers’: Police offender managers and the sex offenders’ register in England and Wales. Policing and Society, 26(4), 411–427. doi: 10.1080/10439463.2014.942855.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries. (2016). Oxford University Press [online]. http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/sword. Last accessed 17 May 2016.
  49. Piquero, A., Farrington, D. P., & Blumstein, A. (2003). The criminal career paradigm. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: A review of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  50. Quinn, J., Forsyth, C., & Mullen-Quinn, C. (2004). Societal reaction to sex offenders: An overview of the origins and results of the myths surrounding their crimes and treatment amenability. Deviant Behavior, 25(3), 215–232. doi: 10.1080/01639620490431147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rainey, B. (2010). Dignity and dangerousness: Sex offenders and the community – Human rights in the balance? In K. Harrison (Ed.), Managing high-risk sex offenders in the community. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  52. Raynor, P. (2004). Rehabilitative and integrative approaches. In A. Bottoms, S. Rex, & G. Robinson (Eds.), Alternatives to prison: options for an insecure society. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  53. Robinson, G., & McNeill, F. (2008). Exploring the dynamics of compliance with community penalties. Theoretical Criminology, 12(4), 431–449. http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/6235/1/6235.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  54. Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1993). Crime in the making. Pathways and turning points through life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Sherman, L. W. (1993). Defiance, deterrence and irrelevance: A theory of the criminal sanction. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 30(4), 445–473. doi: 10.1177/0022427893030004006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Thomas, T. (2010). The sex offender register, community notification and some reflections on privacy. In K. Harrison (Ed.), Managing high-risk sex offenders in the community. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  57. Uggen, C., & Kruttschnitt, C. (1998). Crime in the breaking: Gender differences in desistance. Law and Society Review, 32(2), 339–366. http://users.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/Uggen_Kruttschnitt_LSR_98.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  58. Uggen, C., & Staff, J. (2001). Work as a turning point for criminal offenders. Corrections Management Quarterly, 5(4), 1–16. http://users.soc.umn.edu/~uggen/Uggen_Staff_CMQ_01.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  59. Visher, C. A., & Travis, J. (2003). Transitions from prison to community: Understanding individual pathways. Annual Review of Sociology, 29, 89–113. http://canatx.org/rrt_new/professionals/articles/VISHER-PRISON%20TO%20COMMUNITY.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  60. Walker, B. (2011). Deciphering risk: Sex offender statutes and moral panic in a risk society. Baltimore Law Review, 40, 184–212. Available at: http://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/ublr/vol40/iss2/2. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  61. Ward, T. (2002). Good lives and the rehabilitation of offenders: Promises and problems. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7, 513–518. https://ccoso.org/sites/default/files/import/WArd-2002.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  62. Ward, T., Mann, R., & Gannon, T. (2007). The good lives model of offender rehabilitation: Clinical implications. Aggression and Violent Behaviour, 12(1), 87–107. https://www.ccoso.org/sites/default/files/import/Ward-Mann-Gannon-2007.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  63. Weaver, B. (2014). Control or change? Developing dialogues between desistance research and public protection practices. Probation Journal, 61(1), 8–26. doi: 10.1177/0264550513512890.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Weaver, B., & Barry, M. (2014). Managing high risk offenders in the community: Compliance, cooperation and consent in a climate of concern. European Journal of Probation, 6(3), 278–295. doi: 10.1177/2066220314549526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Willis, G., Yates, P., Gannon, T., & Ward, T. (2013). How to integrate the good lives model into treatment programmes for sexual offending. An introduction and overview. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 25(2), 123–142. doi: 10.1177/1079063212452618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Wood, J., & Kemshall, K. (2007). The Operation and experience of multi-agency publicprotection arrangements (MAPPA). London: Home Office. Available at: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/health-and-life-sciences-documents/research/rdsolr1207.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  67. Worling, J., & Langton, C. (2012). Assessment and treatment of adolescents who sexually offend: Clinical issues and implications for secure settings. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 39, 814–841. doi: 10.1177/0093854812439378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne L. Hulley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations