Positive Outcomes

This report reviews a number of prominent frameworks that are available to help youth justice systems rely on positive outcomes rather than recidivism to measure their effectiveness. These include the Developmental Assets model, the 5Cs model, the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, the Positive Youth Justice model, and the Youth Thrive framework. Each model or framework aligns with the key principles of positive youth development as well as the large body of research on desistance from crime, which is also presented in this report.

Straight Lives: The Balance between Human Dignity, Public Safety, and Desistance from Crime

Desistance from crime is defined as a process involving a series of cognitive, social, and behavioral changes leading up to the cessation of criminal behavior. The value and importance of studying desistance, particularly for intervention efforts after the onset of offending, have been stressed abundantly in the literature.

Conducting Prison Research in a Foreign Setting

Kazemian, Lila (2015). Conducting Prison Research in a Foreign Setting. International Journal for Crime, Justice, and Social Democracy, 4(1), 113-127. This paper discusses the process of conducting prison research in France. Drawing on a study conducted with a sample of prisoners in a maximum-security facility in Paris, this article outlines the major challenges relating to access, data collection, and dissemination of results in correctional research. It also addresses some of the barriers that are inherent to prison research conducted in a setting foreign to the researcher. The value and place of prison research in the field of criminology are also…

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Imperative for Inclusion of Long Termers and Lifers in Research and Policy

Kazemian, Lila and Jeremy Travis (2015). Imperative for inclusion of long termers and lifers in research and policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 14(2), 355-395 (published online, May 4, 2015). Although numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of mass incarceration, life-course and criminal career research has largely failed to document psychological, social, and behavioral changes that occur during periods of incarceration. This oversight is particularly noteworthy in the case of individuals serving long sentences, as they spend a significant portion of the life course behind bars. The policies and programs targeting prisoners are seldom tailored to long termers and lifers,…

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Does Law Matter? An Old Bail Law Confronts the New Penology

Kazemian, Lila, Candace McCoy and Meghan Sacks (2013). Does law matter? An old bail law confronts the New Penology. Punishment & Society, 15(1): 43-70. The New Penology paradigm stipulates that governments increasingly incarcerate ‘unruly classes’ in order to manage rather than punish these groups. Even more than in previous decades, post-industrial society is said to utilize the criminal sanction as a means of repressing the poor, urban, unemployed, and members of minority groups. Drawing on the New Penology framework, the current research uses the example of bail to assess whether risk management rationales have migrated into judges’ decision making despite…

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Pushing Back the Frontiers of Knowledge on Desistance from Crime: Current and Future Directions

Kazemian, Lila (2012). Pushing back the frontiers of knowledge on desistance from crime: Current and future directions. In Rolf Loeber and Brandon C. Welsh (Eds.), The Future of Criminology (pp. 134-140). New York: Oxford University Press. This chapter summarizes current knowledge about desistance, the study of which has moved from event to process analyses based on a combination of social and cognitive factors. It argues that future research needs to integrate better several criminal career parameters, including desistance in frequency, seriousness, and versatility, and involve multiple outcomes such as improvements in mental and physical health and substance use. It also…

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