Civic Integration, Desistance From Crime, and Lessons Learned From the Zanzibar 2015 General Elections

Civic Integration, Desistance From Crime, and Lessons Learned From the Zanzibar 2015 General Elections

Simeon P. Sungi (United States International University-Africa, Kenya)
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2856-3.ch012
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Criminological studies provide evidence from the existing literature to support research on the correlation between economic and social stability and desistance from crime. Ex-offenders who acquired stable work and family relationships were able to develop positive identities and became productive and responsible law-abiding citizens. Although no research study has correlated desistance from crime and voter inclusivity, it is logical to assume that voter inclusivity is similar to work and/or family reintegration. This chapter attempts to examine the correlation between voter inclusivity and desistance from crime while reflecting on the Zanzibar general elections 2015. The choice of Zanzibar as a case study is arbitrary but a rich case study because the archipelago is a tourism hub in East Africa and has a youthful population. Moreover, democratic space in Zanzibar has provided room for coalition governance and political tolerance. The chapter concludes that voter inclusivity contributes to lower crime rates, economic empowerment, social harmony, and safer communities.
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The Criminology Of Voting Inclusion

The term desistance from crime connotes long-term abstinence from criminal offending behavior. Desistance from crime is a desired goal and focus of the criminal justice system. It is informed through criminal justice policy, practice and research.

There is an on-going debate among criminologists as to what the concept “desistance from crime” entails and how to measure it (Farrall and Calverley 2006). Some scholars construe desistance from crime to reflect a permanent cessation of criminal offending (Laub, et al 1998), while others construe desistance from crime to mean that episodes of re-offending may occur in some instances (McNeil and Raynor, 2010).

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