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Agency, Identity, and Desistance: The Emperor & Empress Have No Clothes

What
When Apr 11, 2014
from 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm
Where NHI Building II, Room 110
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Agency, Identity, and Desistance: The Emperor & Empress Have No Clothes

Friday, April 11, 2014   1 p.m.

NHI Building II, room 110

This talk will present an identity theory of criminal desistance, and the preliminary results of a multi-method study of desistance in a sample of serious, drug involved offenders followed over some thirty years. The identity theory is discussed as an alternative to the two dominant theories of desistance in the field today, Sampson and Laub’s age-graded informal social control theory and Giordano et al.’s theory of cognitive and emotional transformations. In a spirit of constructive theoretical competition, it will be argued that there are substantial soft spots in both theories that prevent them from being full accounts of how offenders quit crime.  

AgencyIdentityDesistance

Ray Paternoster

Dr. Ray Paternoster is a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.  He has published numerous books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles on capital punishment, criminological theory, offender decision making, offending over the lifecourse, and adolescent employment and crime.  The National Institute of Justice recently awarded Dr. Paternoster with a grant to examine decision making among adult offenders and non-offenders.  He and his colleagues will be examining differences in characteristics related to decision making such as risk seeking, risk avoidance, sensation seeking, and perceptions of criminal sanctions among these two groups.  Dr. Paternoster has also recently developed a rational choice-based identity theory of desistance that focuses on the role of cognitive processes and human agency in desistance.

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