Youth's desistance from crime : lived experience of youths serving the probation order
Fook, Xing Hui
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Background: In recent years, Singapore experienced an increase in youth arrests, and youths are over-represented within the offending population. Also, the criminal justice system underwent a paradigm shift to consider more offenders for community-based sentences as an alternative to imprisonment. As a result, more youth offenders are ordered to serve the Probation Order, with an increasing number of them at a higher risk of re-offending. Objective: In light of the trend, current study seeks to elucidate factors that facilitated the desistance process of this population of youth offenders during the probation process, despite them being at a higher risk of re-offending. Methods: Meaning-oriented interviews were conducted with 12 youth probationers aged between 16 to 19, who were not charged for further offence during probation, to elicit their lived experience of probation. Thematic analysis was adopted. Findings: The desistance process involved three phases, starting from the troubled identity phase, transition phase, and the renewed identity phase. Within each phase includes four domains, namely the self, family, social group, and institution, whose characteristics evolved as youths negotiated the three phases of the desistance process. The factors for desistance could be understood as the contrast within the four domains across the three phases of transition. Discussion: From this analysis, the family, social group and institution play a crucial role in supporting the self in negotiating the different phases of desistance. While the self has experienced the most significant change, changes within the family and peer group occurred less frequently among the 12 youths. It is recommended for these domains to be strengthened for more effective reintegration into the community.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University