Avhandlingens titel

Maintaining Desistance: Barriers and Expectations in Women's Desistance from Crime


Fergus McNeill, Professor of Criminology & Social Work, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Glasgow


Professor Kerstin Svensson, Socialhögskolan, Lunds universitet
Professor David Wästerfors, Sociologiska Institutionen, Lunds universitet
Docent Anita Heber, Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Reserv, 4:e-person: Professor Karin Helmersson Bergmark, Sociologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet

Handledare och ordförande

Ingrid Lander, docent, Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Anders Nilsson, professor, Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet


Maintaining desistance is about struggling. It is about leaving a destructive and unwanted way of life behind in pursuit of something else, something unknown, something 'normal'. When people who have lived their entire life at the margin of society − in poverty, drug use, criminalisation and condemnation − set out to change their lives, what does that mean? Individual reform is not an easy task for anyone, and perhaps even less so for people involved in criminalised lifestyles. Yet, this is at the core of current understandings in criminology and the criminal justice system. But how do people involved with the criminal justice system go about such reform? And how do individual resources and social structure shape the road to inclusion and 'normality'?

This book is the culmination of a research project covering women’s desistance from crime. The overarching question that the research project grapples with is ‘What is important in the lives of criminalised women as they set out to change their ways of living and acting?’ This broad focus thus includes aspects that may facilitate or hinder desistance; what helps, what impedes, and why?

The results and discussions draw on repeated in-depth interviews with ten women in Sweden. The women had spent the majority of their lives in a position as 'other', segregated and excluded from conventional society. For decades, the women were engaged in criminalised lifestyles circulating around common street crime. At the start of the project, these ten women had just set out on a journey towards a new life, striving to leave crime, drugs, exclusion and condemnation behind. The project's longitudinal design allowed me to take part in the women's desistance journeys, and study the processes involved.

Findings from the project have been published as articles in scientific journals. This book situates these findings, and discusses the implications of the project as a whole: its methodological, empirical and theoretical contributions. Taken together, the results elucidate both expectations and inhibitions associated with desistance; hopes, outlooks, achievements, as well as barriers or hinders faced along the way. These different findings emphasise the uncertainties involved in 'going straight' or maintaining desistance, in ways that adds nuance to and critically furthers contemporary understandings in the research field and criminal justice practice.

The prospective and exploratory approach of this project thus adds to current knowledge by elucidating experiences of structural barriers, relational uncertainties, personal doubt, hope, and aspirations involved in ongoing desistance processes. Looking forward, it is important for future research and criminal justice practice to acknowledge desistance as complex processes. Desistance journeys are subject to relapse and fraught with emotions, hinders, setbacks but also hope and aspirations that all must be taken into consideration if society is to understand and better support people attempting such reform.

Läs hela avhandlingen i DiVA: Maintaining Desistance: Barriers and Expectations in Women's Desistance from Crime

Följ disputationen via länk 

Mötet hålls med Zoom som du laddar ner till din dator eller mobil på www.zoom.us och sen går du in på mötet genom att ange möteslänken (gulmarkerat nedan). Om du vill installera Zoom kan du följa instruktionerna på skärmen - observera att det tar en stund och att du förmodligen behöver klicka på möteslänken igen efter installation. Gör därför detta i god tid före mötets början. Klicka sedan på möteslänken och ”Join with Computer Audio.”

Du kan även följa disputationen utan att ladda ner Zoom-applikationen. Välj då avbryt och följ den finstilta länken Join from your browser längst ner på dialogsidan, och ange möteslänken (gulmarkerat nedan). Om inte länken fungerar med din vanliga webbläsare, pröva att kopiera in möteslänken i en annan webbläsare, t.ex. Chrome.
Du kan också följa mötet genom att ringa in till mötet med en mobiltelefon eller med Skype, se nedan för telefonnummer. 
Zoom för anställda och studenter vid Stockholms universitet
På SUA-datorer (anslutna till Arbetsplatstjänsten) finns Zoom att ladda ner via Software Center (PC) eller Self Service (Mac). Instruktioner för detta finns i Serviceportalen:
Installera / avinstallera program från Software Center 
Installera programvaror via Self Service på macOS


Topic: Disputation/Public defence Robin Gålnander October 30th 13.00 (1 PM, CET)
Time: Oct 30, 2020 12:45 PM Paris

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 654 3752 4067

One tap mobile
+46850539728,,65437524067# Sweden
+46844682488,,65437524067# Sweden

Dial by your location
        +46 850 539 728 Sweden
        +46 8 4468 2488 Sweden
        +46 8 5016 3827 Sweden
        +46 8 5050 0828 Sweden
        +46 8 5050 0829 Sweden
        +46 8 5052 0017 Sweden
Meeting ID: 654 3752 4067
Find your local number: https://stockholmuniversity.zoom.us/u/cehVH5ZIwz

Join by SIP

Join by H.323
Meeting ID: 654 3752 4067

Join by Skype for Business