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How Offenders Transform Their Lives


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Table of Contents

1. Identity transformation and offender change, Bonita M. Veysey, Damian J. Martinez and Johnna Christian 2. Moments of transformation: formerly incarcerated individuals' narratives of change, Johnna Christian, Bonita M. Veysey, Bryn Herrschaft and Heather Tubman-Carbone 3. Looking-glass identity transformation: Pygmalion and Golem in the rehabilitation process, Shadd Maruna, Thomas P. Lebel, Michelle Naples and Nick Mitchell 4. Former prisoners, their family members, and the transformative potential of support, Damian J. Martinez 5. 'I got a quick tongue': negotiating ex-convict identity in mixed company, Lois Presser and Suzanne Kurth 6. Thinking inside the box: prisoner education, learning identities, and the possibilities for change, Emma Hughes 7. Accounts of change and resistance among women prisoners, Barbara Owen 8. Parole supervision, change in the self, and desistance from substance use and crime, Merry Morash 9. Identity change through the transformation model of L.I.F.E.R.S., Inc., M. Kay Harris 10. Formerly incarcerated persons' use of advocacy/activism as a coping orientation in the reintegration process, Thomas P. LeBel 11. Lessons learned about offender change: implications for criminal justice policy, Russ Immarigeon

About the Author

Bonita Veysey, Johnna Christian, and Damian J. Martinez are all based at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University.


'This collection of 11 articles reflects the enduring significance of symbolic interactionism as a source of insights worth putting into practice with incarcerated populations and those facing the challenges of reentry to society. Each contribution addresses the pressing concern for evidence-based approaches that can convincingly respond to the "what works?" question, which continues to dominate criminal justice debates. Some are more convincing than others are, but the rich detail of mostly qualitative data about offenders' navigation away from stigmatized identities is thought provoking. The applications of theory are appropriate and affecting, achieving an intelligent prescription for more attention to the dynamics of relationship and interpersonal communication in both prison and community-based programs. Understandably, extensive concerns with addiction recovery efforts are explored as essential to the prospects for desistence from crime. The authors share compelling illustrations of how group interactions influence individual narratives and self-transformation. Concern with the currencies of socially constructed meaning is connected to more distant outcomes of lifestyle change more by persuasion than by available longitudinal data, leaving the answer to "what works?" still a work in progress. Nevertheless, their logic bears broad consideration by professionals in corrections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.' -- R. Zingraff, James Madison University in Choice

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