Love, Compassion and Therapeutic Communities in Homeboy Industries
Following on directly from the previous chapter, in this chapter I share insights from participant observation of intervention strategies implemented within Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles. I draw on ethnographic fieldnotes to provide illustrations of the holistic culture within the organisation, and the nature and potential impact of coaching and mentoring strategies and group therapy sessions. In addition, insights from follow-up interviews and informal interactions with the male reforming gang members I described in the previous chapter illustrate the main factors that led to their motivation to engage with Homeboy Industries, and the perceived impact that it was having on them during the liminal phase (Healy in The dynamics of desistance: Charting pathways through change. Routledge, New York, 2012). Further, data gathered via semi-structured interviews with mentors, coaches and staff provide deeper insights into the ways—and extent to which—the structured programmes were providing an initial mechanism for changing perceptions about masculinity and nurturing greater commitment to criminal desistance.
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