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Article
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Aliye Emirali, Rachel O'Rourke and Caroline Friendship

This paper explores absconding from a new perspective. Literature has tended to focus on the risk factors linked with absconding. This paper aims to consider desistance…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores absconding from a new perspective. Literature has tended to focus on the risk factors linked with absconding. This paper aims to consider desistance factors for absconding for prisoners at higher risk of absconding in open prisons.

Design/methodology/approach

Stage 1 used logistic regression to identify factors associated with increased risk of absconding. Stage 2 identified new receptions with increased risk and used thematic analysis to analyse interviews with prisoners that did not abscond after three months.

Findings

Stage 1 found that the total number of previous offences predicted absconding. Stage 2 found three themes linked to desistance in absconding: “support”, “ownership” and “sense of self”.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of ensuring prisoners in open prisons are offered the appropriate emotional and practical support. It also identifies the importance of hope amongst prisoners in open conditions. Future research should further explore this idea in more depth.

Originality/value

Previous literature has looked at absconding from a risk factor perspective. This research identifies the desistance factors associated with absconding for individuals who have been identified as high risk of absconding. Improvements in factors associated with desistance from absconding may support a reduction in absconding from open prisons.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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