Persistence and desistance

Siyu Liu, Shawn D. Bushway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


This chapter examines persistence and desistance in criminal offending. Persistence in criminal offending may be observed when subjects are followed for a sufficiently long period and found to have maintained a certain level of offending. Desistance is discussed when offending declines to a zero or close-to-zero level, with other parameters also clearly defined. This chapter first discusses the challenges in the identification of persistent offenders. It then provides a review of evidence on the age–crime relationship and heterogeneous patterns of desistance. The controversy surrounding desistance as a process or a discrete point is also examined. The chapter also summarizes the theoretical underpinnings of desistance, before concluding with a discussion on the future of research on desistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780190201371
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)


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