I Want to Be a Dad to Him, I Don’t Just Want to Be Someone He Comes and Sees in Prison’: Fatherhood’s Potential for Desistance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter sets out to consider the process of change for the unique group of young imprisoned fathers. Drawing on empirical exploratory research, this chapter will discuss the potential mechanisms by which fatherhood can influence the desistance process. While both subjective and structural and social factors are needed for sustained change, previous literature on fatherhood and desistance has until recently concentrated on fatherhood as a turning point. The research findings show that we need to look beyond this and so this chapter focuses on internal, subjective, agentic factors, namely motivation to change, self-determination and identity transformation. It considers how fatherhood influences and interacts with these factors, paying attention to how and where informal support from friends and family is important to these subjective elements. For the fathers in the research fatherhood offered clear desistance potential but change is complex and multifaceted and reliant on many inter-related factors coming together at the same time. Due to the instability of many of these factors, for young fathers it is often a process characterised by successes and failures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Desistance
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical and Empirical Developments
EditorsEmily Louise Hart, Esther FJC Van Ginneken
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Chapter3
Pages37-59
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781349951857
ISBN (Print)9781349951840, 9781349957545
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Turning Point
  • Informal Support
  • Identity Transformation
  • Young Offender
  • Young Father

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