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Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 30 (2) Jun. 2022 / JSSH-8391-2021


Desistance and Recidivism Among Former Prisoners in Malaysia: A Proposed Model According to the Age-Graded Theory

Mohd Alif Jasni, Siti Hajar Abu Bakar Ah, Noralina Omar and Norruzeyati Che Mohd Nasir

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 30, Issue 2, June 2022


Keywords: Age-Graded Theory, desistance, former prisoners, Malaysia, recidivism

Published on: 9 June 2022

The Age-Graded Theory suggests that the causes of premature delinquency and adult deviant behaviour are not the exclusive outcomes of individual characteristics since a particular incident in life can affect individuals, perpetuating their persistency in committing offences. This paper demonstrates that constructive events in life can successfully prevent former prisoners from being reinvolved in crime, whilst adverse life happenings can derail former prisoners from staying on the right path—a phenomenon known as recidivism. Adopting the phenomenology research paradigm, the findings of this paper are based on the empirical data from a Malaysian case study involving 19 former prisoners with criminal records of various offences. The findings of this study reveal that Age-Graded life-course events are essential predictors of former prisoner criminal behaviour, rendering the theory valuable, especially when it comes to modelling social reintegration strategies and interventions for former prisoners.

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