Favoring Crime Desistance and Social (Re)Integration of Offenders Through Intersectoral Partnerships

Favoring Crime Desistance and Social (Re)Integration of Offenders Through Intersectoral Partnerships

Natacha Brunelle (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada), Julie Carpentier (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada), Sylvie Hamel (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada), Isabelle F. Dufour (Université Laval, Canada) and Jocelyn Gadbois (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1286-9.ch019

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to show the importance of intersectorality in partnerships to successfully understand and influence the processes of crime desistance and of social and community (re)integration of people subject to judicial control. It begins with an outline of the “what works” and “how it works” movements and provides tools to help understand such notions as crime desistance, (re)integration, trajectories, and intersectorality. After describing the objectives of the (RÉ)SO 16-35 partnered research project, the authors present various intersectoral collaborative initiatives in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada and indicate what, according to the literature, contributed to their development. The chapter concludes with the identification of two central principles in the development of intersectoral partnerships aiming to favor crime desistance and social and community (re)integration trajectories: a culture of dialogue must be instilled, and the initial objective of the project must be kept in mind.
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Introduction

Integration can contribute to all people with a criminal history managing to develop a sense of belonging and of cohesion with society. In parallel, it can help reduce the stigmas associated with their entry into the judicial system. To this end, an entire process must be deployed; the paths taken to achieve the goal are rarely linear. As defined by François Bérard (2015, p. 5) of the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec, social and community (re)integration is a [Translation] long-term, multidimensional, individualized adaption process that is not complete until the person [subject to judicial control] participates in all aspects of life in the society and community where [he/she] is evolving and for which [he/she] has developed a sense of belonging. It has a broader scope of action than the notion of reinsertion, which, for its part, implies the introduction of a person into a given social setting, but not necessarily a transformation process. The prefix “re” in parentheses serves to include both those who must be reintegrated and those who never were and must therefore be integrated.

In recent decades, the notion of social (re)integration has become central as much in the literature on offender rehabilitation (the “What works” movement1) as in the literature on crime desistance (the “How it works” movement). To facilitate crime desistance and social and community (re)integration trajectories of people who have committed offenses, it is necessary to acknowledge that these people have several concomitant difficulties or problems and therefore various needs that must be met. However, a sole service provider can rarely satisfy all these needs. This is why several partnership projects have come to be in various countries. The Québec program called “(RÉ)SO 16-35” is one of these projects.

The purpose of this chapter is to show the importance of intersectorality in partnerships to successfully understand and influence the processes of crime desistance and of social and community (re)integration of people having committed offenses. It begins with an outline of the “What works” and “How it works” movements and provides tools to help understand such notions as crime desistance, (re)integration, trajectories, and intersectorality. After describing the objectives of the (RÉ)SO 16-35 partnered research project, the authors will discuss the various initiatives of intersectoral collaboration in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada as well as what, according to the literature, contributed to their development.

Key Terms in this Chapter

What Works: Movement in criminology that pertains to the rehabilitation of people subject to judicial control and whose objective is to prevent risk and protect the community.

Trajectories: Lines tracing the evolution of various spheres of an individual’s life over a relatively long period. Consequently, this evolution is neither static nor linear.

Insertion: Introduction of a person into an environment.

How It Works: Movement in criminology that pertains to crime desistance and whose objective is to facilitate it by providing support to people subject to judicial control.

Intersectorality: Mobilization of several intervention sectors to satisfy specific needs.

(Re)integration: Process of adaptation that allows an offender to develop, in the long term, a sense of belonging and of cohesion with society. It covers several dimensions, notably personal, legal, moral, political, and social.

Crime Desistance: Process through which people subject to judicial control progressively engaged in adopting behaviors that comply with the law and permanently put an end to their criminal activities.

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