An unfinished alternative : towards a relational paradigm

Weaver, Beth and Weaver, Allan (2016) An unfinished alternative : towards a relational paradigm. In: Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Criminal Justice. Beyond the Risk Paradigm . Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 221-238. ISBN 9781137441324

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    Abstract

    In recent years, studies of desistance from crime – and of their implications for criminal justice practice – have begun to challenge ‘the risk paradigm’. That challenge has been cast principally in terms of the ways in which desistance can be supported (and therefore risk of reoffending reduced), with research suggesting, for example, the critical importance of motivation, relationships and social contexts in the human development processes associated with leaving crime behind. However, more recently, desistance research has begun to raise questions about the end point or destination implied: What comes after desistance? This chapter argues that a focus on social relations, trust and reciprocity is essential – both practically and normatively – to processes of change and to supporting them. That focus in turn requires the development of co-productive approaches to practice that take more seriously the lived realities of the struggle for change, and the experiential expertise of those engaged in that struggle.