Book Chapter

Turning Over a New Leaf: Desistance Research for a New Generation



Weaver B, Graham H & Maruna S (2023) Turning Over a New Leaf: Desistance Research for a New Generation. In: Liebling A, Maruna S & McAra L (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 7th edition ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 144-163.

In this chapter, we argue that desistance research has evolved in important ways well beyond the original studies in the field. In what follows, we outline the contours of contemporary developments in desistance scholarship that, to greater or lesser degrees, address these exact challenges listed above. First, recent desistance research has shifted towards a critical focus on the influence and impact of multi-dimensional socio-structural, cultural and situational challenges. Second, the potential of intersectionality to generate new, critical insights in desistance research and theory has been recognized, and we have seen a diversification of both desistance researchers and research subject matter. Third, new scholarship in desistance has expanded beyond ordinary street crime to include issues such as sexual offending and intimate partner violence largely elided by early research. After adding detail to these emerging areas of research, we conclude with an overview of some of the significant contributions we believe the desistance literature has made on the wider field of criminology and criminal justice. In particular, we review literature on how justice practices have been influenced by desistance theory, including emerging ideas and initiatives surrounding innovative forms of justice practice. Most of all, we review desistance theory’s contributions to conversations around ‘lived experience’ in the justice system—perhaps the primary achievement of the past two decades of British desistance research.

Criminology; Desistance from Crime

StatusIn Press
Publication date online04/08/2023
PublisherOxford University Press
Publisher URL…W00000&view=Grid
Place of publicationOxford

People (1)


Dr Hannah Graham

Dr Hannah Graham

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology