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The realities of crime, punishment and desistance : first hand perspectives

Weaver, Beth (2013) The realities of crime, punishment and desistance : first hand perspectives. EuroVista: Probation and Community Justice, 3 (1).

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This is the first open access issue of EuroVista and the first European academic and professional journal in which those persons who are more often than not the subject of academic study and professional practice are themselves the principal contributors to this special issue. It is something of a coincidence that the open accessibility of this journal occurs at this time but it is also fortuitous because it is hoped that the content of these stories will resonate with a wider readership than academic and professional journals characteristically do. Indeed, we hope that while this issue will be of interest to academics, policy-makers and penal practitioners, these narratives might also be used as a focus of discussion between teachers and students and between practitioners and service users as well as engender public interest in and deliberation on the issues and insights the authors illuminate. The principal focus of this special issue is on the realities of crime, punishment and desistance articulated from the experiential perspective of 38 different people from diverse social, geographical and cultural perspectives. To set the scene for what follows, this preface to these contributions provides a brief overview of the existing empirical and theoretical context prior to elaborating the rationale underpinning this special issue and the methods through which it came together.