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Social Capital and Offender Reintegration: Making Probation Desistance Focused

Farrall, Stephen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In, Shadd Maruna and Russ Immarigeon, eds, After Crime and Punishment: Pathways to Offender Reintegration. Devon, UK and Portland Oregon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 57-84.

Several studies have shown the relationship between employment and crime desistance, and other studies have found that individuals cease criminal behavior at about the same time they form significant life partnerships. These findings suggest that the experiences and activities of employment and intimate relationships counteract impulses to commit crime. The term “social capital” has been used by criminologists to capture this factor in crime desistance. Hagan and McCarthy (1997:229) have stated that social capital “originates in socially structured relations between individuals, in families and in aggregations of individuals in neighborhoods, churches, schools, etc. These relations facilitate social action by generating a knowledge and sense of obligation, expectations, trustworthiness, information channels, norms, and sanctions.” This chapter raises the question as to whether employment and good familial relationships are the outcomes of social capital or the precursors of it. It concludes that the answer lies not in conceptualizing good family relationships and employment as either the precursors or the outcomes of social capital, but rather as both the precursors and the outcomes. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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