Making Good: How Ex-convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives
Annotation Noting that so-called super-predators "may not exist, but they certainly sell a lot of books," Maruna (criminal justice, State U. of New York, Albany) instead focuses on the class of people that, according to common wisdom, should commit more crime, but do not. Basing his analysis largely on the findings of the Liverpool Desistance Study (a qualitative investigation of desistance from crime by British ex-convicts conducted between 1996 and 1998, he argues that in order to successfully maintain an abstinence from crime, ex- offenders need to "develop a coherent, prosocial identity for themselves," often by developing self-narratives that describe to themselves and others how they have transformed themselves from criminals into new, reformed identities. Redemption rituals in which reformed individuals have had their reform "certified" by authorities and relatives often reinforce the success of this process. The possible institutionalization of this reintegration practice is recommended. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).
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