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Title: Doing desistance in divided neighbourhoods : the role of conflict-affected neighbourhoods in the desistance process during reintegration
Author: Bell, Shane
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis details PhD research that was conducted as a means of better understanding the role that neighbourhoods, and a legacy of conflict in neighbourhoods, may play in the desistance process during reintegration. The research adopted a triangulated qualitative mixed methods approach, consisting of 44 interviews, 60 hours of observations and media analysis of 135 news articles. This research provides a number of key original insights that comprise a unique theoretical contribution to desistance literature. The first is that neighbourhoods and a legacy of conflict affect the desistance process during reintegration among those with a persistent offending background. The findings indicate that barriers to desistance are inherently bound up in the complex interplay between individual needs/issues and a variety of neighbourhood factors relating to criminogenic norms and values, drug and substance abuse, public disorder, opportunities, social integration, paramilitary involvement, as well as employment and housing issues. Importantly, these insights emphasise the need for a broader neighbourhood-level conceptualisation of the desistance process that has yet to be fully realised within existing desistance literature. Additionally, the findings emphasise that in light of the limitations of existing literature, reintegrative services have not been designed nor informed in such a way that allows them to fully address the issues that stem from the neighbourhood-level. Subsequently, it appears that services may be limited in their ability to address the extent of the issues created by these contexts, thereby hindering desistance outcomes. Given these insights, the research proposes a layered desistance model which helps to illuminate the relationships that appear to exist between individual needs/issues and neighbourhood factors. In doing so, this research not only provides a means of understanding the role that neighbourhoods and a legacy of conflict can play in the desistance process, but also advocates for a number of improvements to service delivery.
Supervisor: Lawther, Cheryl ; Butler, Michelle Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Desistance ; Reintegration ; Neighbourhoods ; Post-Conflict ; Prison