Title

‘Losing My Religion:’ an Exploration of Religion and Spirituality in Men Who Claim to Have Desisted From Sexual Offending

Publication Date

4-3-2017

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Much of our empirical understanding of desistance from general crime emphasizes the value of informal social bonds. The specific elements of social control that are most often discussed are committed relationships, and fulfilling employment. The impact of religion and spirituality on desistance from crime has been studied to a much lesser extent, and has so far been entirely neglected in studies of individuals convicted of sexual crime. This study contributes to a growing interest in understanding the process of de-escalation and desistance from sexual offending in adult men. To that end, we examined the life history interviews of 71 men convicted of sexual offenses and released to the community to explore the presence and relevance of religiosity and spirituality in their lives. We focus specifically on four features of religion that emerged spontaneously during the interviews: emotional regulation, forgiveness, social bonds, and ritual.

Publication Title

Criminal Justice Studies

Volume

30

Issue

2

First Page

101

Last Page

116

DOI

10.1080/1478601X.2017.1300385

Version

pre-print, post-print

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