Til bevillingsoversigt

Veje ud af det kriminelle gadeliv.

Carlsbergfondets postdoc-stipendier i Danmark

What

The aim of this project is to develop knowledge on desistance from crime among young men from the ethnic minorities, based on the following research question: What enables some young men from the ethnic minorities, some of whom are gang members, to desist from committing crimes, when others do not manage to do so? The project will specifically focus on gaining insights into: 1) social processes related to desistance from crime; 2) the significance of internal/subjective and external/structural factors, for desistance from crime and 3) any variations in the ability to desist from crime among those who are and who are not gang members, and factors related to these variations.

Why

Criminological knowledge on desistance from crime is limited. Knowledge regarding social processes involved in desistance, particularly among ethnic minorities and gang members, is even more limited. As such, scholars cannot yet adequately explain why and how people are able, or not able, to stop committing crimes. This project aims to partially fill this gap in criminological knowledge by addressing the abovementioned research question and focusing on the abovementioned themes. This project has both scientific and societal impact, not least because crime among ethnic minority youth is of public and political concern. The knowledge developed by this project regarding how and why criminals desist their criminal activity is beneficial for crime reduction (see below in SSR).

How

Interviews with ethnic minority youth will be conducted repeatedly every six months over a period of two years. Interviewees will be selected among young men (both gang members and non-gang members) who have committed crimes and are now trying to desist. The aim of the interviews is to learn from the young men´s experiences with desistance and thus to clarify whether and how they are able, or not able, to reshape their lives and stop committing crimes. Interviews will also illuminate social processes of both desistance and non-desistance and subjective/internal and structural/external factors relevant to these processes. Finally, interviews with both gang members and non-gang members will provide material to help clarify any variations in their desistance processes.

SSR

Crime, and in particular crime among young men from the ethnic minorities, is a societal problem of great public concern. By developing knowledge on why and how such young men stop committing crimes, this project will not only enhance criminological knowledge, but also improve the practical efforts that are directed towards getting them out of crime. It will do so by disseminating the knowledge that is developed within this project, to practitioners who work with getting the young men out of crime. As such, the project will contribute knowledge that can lead to both better solutions to crime reduction, and help the young men involved create better lives for themselves.