Gray, Emily V (2014) What happens to persistent young offenders when they grow up? A longitudinal study of the first recipients of intensive supervision. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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In 2001 the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP) was introduced by the Youth Justice Board. It was politically drafted to attend to New Labour’s desire to be ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’. ISSP provided the ubiquitous ‘persistent young offender’ with a range of community-based resources and espoused a plethora of often contradictory theoretical and practice aims. Employing a cross-methodological framework this study has sought to understand the long-term impact of intensive supervision on the lives of (formerly) serious and persistent young offenders as they grow up.

Using a large cohort of 1789 ISSP cases and 704 comparison cases it has built up a longitudinal picture of which young people persisted with or desisted from crime, together with measures of the nature of their subsequent offending and exposure to criminal sanctions. While the inevitable result of ‘no difference’ emerges, the role of more sophisticated statistical analyses and longitudinal models is advised to answer a broader set of substantive questions.

In-depth life-history interviews also gave voice to the young people themselves. How did they relate to the melange of penal discourses? Did they want to be rehabilitated? What did offending represent to them in their everyday lives? The results suggest that a childhood of persistent offending was often experienced as wild flight of hedonism and capital advantage. However, frequently and swiftly, it translated into a complex and demoralising poverty trap in early adulthood.

Despite the epistemological, theoretical and logistical gaps between quantitative and qualitative methods, their combination has the potential to address the sort of ‘what works’ questions but also to the wider intellectual terrain of the impact of punishment on offender’s subjectivities and the broader position of young offenders in society.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Users 4 not found.
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2016 15:27
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 15:27

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