Criminal identity desistance

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Authors: Lino Faccini
Page Range: 307-312
Published in: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 21 Issue 4
ISSN: 2191-1231

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

Criminal identity desistance is a relatively recent concept in the criminal desistance literature. Basically, it entails changing one’s identity from that of an offender to a more convention and prosocial identity as a significant contributor to criminal act desistance. The self-narratives of those individuals who have reformed evidenced a movement away from a condemnation script to one of redemption. A review of theoretical underpinnings of identity change frameworks, will be presented, as focusing on redemption entails either redefining oneself as possessing a positive self-core or self-value and a “moving away” from the identity of criminal offenders, or as a “casting off” the old identity in favor of a more prosocial one. Consistent with this later approach, Old Me New Me treatment proposes that the weakening and managing an old identity, that dominated at the time of offending, is essential but secondary to adopting a more positive and success-oriented identity. This Old Me New Me structured process of empowering one’s New Me and weakening and managing one’s Old Me will be presented. Efficacy data for the Old Me New me treatment framework suggest that it promotes substantial identity change that is maintained and also accompanies criminal act desistance.

Keywords: Criminal identity desistance, old me new me treatment, identity transformation

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