Pathways to Ruin?: High-Risk Offending over the Life Course
Published: June 2022© 2022
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 238 Pages
Illustrations: 6 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
238 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.55 in, 6 b&w tables
Individuals who have committed a number of crimes over their lifetimes have had complex, multi-faceted life experiences often characterized by extreme disadvantage and victimization. Those who are formally designated as "high-risk" by the Canadian criminal justice system often have a record of violent or sexual crimes. As a result, they are usually subject to additional monitoring in the community after completing a prison sentence.
Pathways to Ruin? disentangles the numerous elements and pathways that lead to high rates of reoffending by focusing on developmental periods of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The book uses a case-study approach to consider individuals’ entire crime pathway by examining the circumstances and factors that contribute to assumptions or official designations of "high-risk" behaviour. Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot and Tamara Humphrey overhaul society’s popular crime narratives and instead draw on sociological and criminological perspectives to identify historical, social, and personal contexts that appear to increase the likelihood of reoffending. They also consider how negative life experiences may be addressed to circumvent trajectories of serious offending. Reducing the social distance that the "law-abiding" public may feel towards marginalized groups, Pathways to Ruin? details how legal systems could better serve these individuals, and acknowledges the many missed opportunities for compassion.
2. The Early Years
3. The Teen Years/Early Adulthood: Officially Starting a Life of Crime
5. The Criminal Justice Experience and Specialization
"Seeking to counter to the caricature monsters presented in ‘true crime’ popular non-fiction, this important new work does what the best social science should always do: explores complicated human lives in their full, complex humanity. This contextualised, life-course analysis suggests that ‘risk,’ resides more in the society we have created than inside any individual bogeyman."Shadd Maruna, Professor of Criminology, Queen's University Belfast and President, American Society of Criminology
"Pathways to Ruin? is a timely and authentic addition to the current scholarship on criminal offending across the lifecourse. Gibbs Van Brunschot and Humphrey provide a masterful accounting of the significant early life trauma and triggers that shape the offending trajectories for high-risk offenders. The authors provide a compelling argument for reframing and re-directing responses to serious offenders with provision of more social support, compassion, and humanity earlier in an offending pathway. This book is essential reading for serious scholars and students alike."Paul Mazerolle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New Brunswick