Who Will Reoffend? The Neglected Role of Social Ties in Recidivism Studies

Project: Research

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This project addresses a long-standing research question in criminology and a major concern among social workers and correctional officers in Hong Kong: Why do some ex-prisoners recidivate whereas others desist? We plan to study this question by introducing some insights from network research to the literature on recidivism. We will accomplish two tasks: (1) we will use the sampling method used in the study of desistance in the West to gather survey data for our project; (2) we will develop five network variables to understand how social ties affect the probabilities of recidivism after controlling the socio-demographic variables. The survey data will be complemented by in-depth interviews with 50 ex-prisoners (across age, gender and ethnicity) about their paths to reenter society or reoffend. This project will offer a fresh account of the main mechanisms whereby network ties affect desistance, contributing to criminological research in both Hong Kong and the West.


Project number7004957
Effective start/end date1/09/174/12/18