Source: (2004) Probation Journal. 51(3): 221–232

The notion of ‘desistance’ (or ‘going straight’) is becoming a more prominent one in criminological discourse, and the Liverpool Desistance Study (LDS) aimed to provide a deeper understanding of this process from the perspective of the individuals taking this life path. However, the LDS was not intended to address how the research might be applied in practice. This article therefore briefly outlines the research and discusses some of the policy implications, in order to open a debate with practitioners and others about the way that the research might be relevant to everyday practice with people who offend. The papers that follow this article were written in response to the challenge of applying the findings of the LDS in probation practice.