The belief in redeemability- version 2 (BiR-2) scale and its relation to desistance.

Kevin O'Sullivan, Chana Levin, David Bright, Richard Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between the belief in redeemability – Version 2 (BIR-2) Scale and desistance from crime. It also seeks to explore how patterns of responding on the BIR-2 with offenders compare to previous patterns of responding in the general public. Design/methodology/approach: The authors report the results of a study of offenders using the belief in redeemability – Version 2 (BiR-2) scale. In total, 180 offenders under the supervision of the Community Corrections Service (formerly the Probation and Parole Service) of New South Wales completed the ten-item questionnaire and when these data were combined with demographic and reoffending data collected by Corrective Services New South Wales, 168 sets of useable data were collected. Scores on the BIR-2 scale were compared to Level of Service Inventory – Revised (LSI-R) score, Most Serious Offence category, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, number of custodial sentences in previous five years, age, gender and reoffending. Findings: Results showed that the sample overall was closely representative of the caseload from which the study sample was drawn (a metropolitan community corrections office) and that BIR-2 scores showed a small, significant, negative correlation with LSI-R scores. Analysis of re-offending data indicated a small, positive, but non-significant correlation with BIR-2. Implications of this are discussed and future research outlined. Practical implications: The paper suggests that it is worth attempting to measure belief in redeemability in the broader context of a narrative approach to desistance. Originality/value: This is the first time that a scale has been used to test the importance of a belief in redeemability quantitatively and to permit the use of multivariate analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-312
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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