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Desistance frameworks
Aggression and Violent Behavior  (IF4.874),  Pub Date : 2021-11-09, DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2021.101684
Kathryn J. Fox

Ward & Durrant (2021, this issue) explain the need for practice theories, to tie together the abstract, explanatory features of criminological theories, and operationalization of interventions. In this paper, the theory/theories of “desistance” (i.e., the cessation of criminal activity) are examined with an eye toward describing the various frameworks that explain and predict desistance from crime, and their implicit models for desistance-promotion. The paper makes three fundamental points: 1) that there are multiple explanations for desistance, ranging from external, stabilizing influences to internal identity shifts (and their interaction); 2) because of this, desistance is more an observable process that is predictable under some conditions, but does not represent an overarching theory for behavior or change. Finally, since theories of desistance are not rehabilitation models per se, the article develops elements of practice frameworks, or steps toward creating interventions, that are suggested by the explanatory features of the different approaches to desistance in practice.