Singapore University of Social Sciences

Desistance from Crime

Desistance from Crime (PSS311)


PSS311 Desistance from Crime highlights theories connected to desistance from crime and identifies ways to operationalize the theories into policies and practices. By reviewing the different theories that explain why people stop offending, students will be able to formulate strategies that support offenders and prevent them from engaging in offending behaviors. This course also guides students to consider policies and formulate strategies that contributes to desistance.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Understanding desistance from crime
  • Desistance theories
  • How and why people stop offending
  • Understanding recidivism/repeat offending
  • War on persistence
  • Individual factors
  • Structural factors
  • Policies and rules
  • Community based sentencing
  • Narrative therapy
  • Best practices
  • Research and outcomes

Learning Outcome

  • Illustrate the concept of desistance from crime
  • Analyse ways to prevent offending
  • Appraise desistance theory in the rehabilitation process
  • Apply theories of desistance in the rehabilitation process
  • Determine factors that support desistance
  • Formulate intervention that supports desistance from crime
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