Life after probation: offending and the
development of social and personal
Social and personal circumstances
Obstacles to desistance: long term outcomes
… there's a lot changed since then …
(Al, fourth sweep interview)
Whilst several studies have considered the lives of men and women immediately after they have been released from prison, few studies have considered in-depth the social and personal lives of those men and women who have completed probation supervision. Typically, ex-prisoners face numerous problems immediately after release and during the years which follow (e.g. Eaton, 1993) – but what of ex-probationers?
We last interviewed the bulk of our sample members in 1999. Therefore, by the time that we interviewed them again in late 2003 and early to mid-2004, it had been five years since they had last been interviewed. This chapter reviews that period of time and assesses the extent to which in terms of their offending they 'stayed stopped' or continued to offend. In this general overview, we also consider one of the repeated concerns of the earlier phase of the research – obstacles to desistance.
One of the key issues to address is the extent to which those people classified as desisters in the earlier phase of the study had remained out of