Desistance is generally defined as ceasing to commit any future criminal activities—as such, it is more specific than crime reduction. However, the topic of desistance in the study of criminology and criminal justice is characterized by a lack of agreement on how it is defined among those studying it. Thus, desistance is explored in numerous studies, but all using different predictor variables to capture its results.

After briefly reviewing the history of the study of desistance in the field of criminal justice and desistance theory, this entry reviews some of the theories that provide a foundation for how to explain desistance as well as the desistance process. Also reviewed in this entry are several factors that with some debate have been found to be relative to ...

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