'Giving back and getting on with my life': peer mentoring, desistance and recovery of ex-offenders

Nixon, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0003-4522-211X (2020) 'Giving back and getting on with my life': peer mentoring, desistance and recovery of ex-offenders. Probation Journal, 67 (1). pp. 47-64. doi:10.1177/0264550519900249

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Peer work and peer mentoring are dynamic social processes that have reciprocal benefits for both mentor and mentee in tackling issues around reoffending and substance misuse. Narratives of peer work and desistance were collected from Probation, Criminal Justice Drugs Team mentors and Health Trainers, to explore identity transformation and how the criminal justice system supports ex-offenders in desistance. Criminal justice practitioners were also interviewed, to explore the importance of relational support networks. Themes that emerged from the research include the transformative potential of peer work and how peer workers can become role models for other offenders. Peer workers are ‘experts by experience’, using personal narratives of desistance to inspire hope in others. Influential criminal justice personnel are key to this process. Peer work can be the start of building a desisting identity, acting as a ‘hook for change’ (Giordano et al 2002). Peer workers are given spaces within criminal justice organisations to work, which fosters a sense of purpose, belonging, trust and responsibility Seeing ex-offenders from a strengths based perspective is integral to supporting ex-offender transition. However, peer workers are inconsistently validated by criminal justice personnel, which can impede their desistance, placing them in a liminal position.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Document accessible using Adobe 'Read Out Loud'
Uncontrolled Keywords: Peer mentoring; Probation peer mentoring; Desistance; Health trainers; Peer support; REF2021
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology. > HV7231 Criminal justice administration
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Sarah Nixon
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 16:17
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 15:27
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/8131

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