Co-Desistance From Crime: Engaging the Pro-Social Dimensions of Co-Offending

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Drawing on primary data from a unique crime prevention initiative in Australia, this article examines how a small group of co-offenders harnessed the pro-social dimensions of their offending to co-desist from crime. We focus particularly on the evolving nature of group dynamics and the roles played by policing (including non-policing), innovative ‘24/7’ casework, and the provision of a culturally safe divergent setting in the emergence of co-desistance scenarios. We show how initial apprehensions around co-offenders associating in the community were unfounded and in fact proved key to the success of such an approach. Building on the supported desistance literature, the article positions co-desistance as a related but distinct concept worthy of further study in its own right.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalThe British Journal of Criminology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2022


  • desistance
  • co-offending
  • co-desistance
  • youth offending
  • Aboriginal


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