Desistance from and Persistence in Male Offending: The Case of South Korea

Dr Trent Bax1
1Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

This presentation introduces the first English language criminal career-based study of desistance from crime among male offenders in South Korea. The study used arrest records from 1998 to 2009, with 3,102 criminal careers traced from adolescence into adulthood. Each offender is classified either a ‘desister’ (74.1%), a ‘potential-desister’ (19.2%) or a ‘persister’ (6.7%). The delinquent histories of eighty-three detainees were surveyed to identify the effect home, employment, and/or friendship stability had upon desistance. The study also compares the 6.7% persisters to the ‘chronic 6%’ and ‘severe 5%’ identified by Western-based studies. And in response to Moffitt’s ‘temporary vs. persistent dual taxonomy’ an alternative ‘desistant vs. persistent tripartite taxonomy’ is proposed. Based upon the findings, several policy suggestions rooted in Laub and Sampson’s ‘situated choice’ view of desistance are proffered.


Trent Bax teaches and researchers within area of ‘the sociology of deviance’.

Trent has published work on irregular migrants, the service industry and ‘internet addicts’ in China, and, more recently on bullying, violence, juvenile delinquency and desistance from crime in South Korea.

Trent is the author of ‘Youth and Internet Addiction in China’ (Routledge, 2014) and ‘Bullying and Violence in South Korea: From Home to School and Beyond’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Trent’s current research is on older ex-methamphetamine users in New Zealand.

Implementation and Coordination of Social Crime Prevention: A Challenge for Municipalities in South Africa

Mr Thompho Tshivhase1
1University Of Fort Hare , Alice Town, South Africa

White Paper on Safety and Security (1998) proposed explicitly that local government should be responsible for the implementation and coordination of social crime prevention programmes within its areas of jurisdiction. Thus, it is argued, local government, the level of government which is closest to the citizenry, is uniquely placed to actively participate in social crime prevention initiatives and to redirect the provision of services to facilitate crime prevention. Specifically, the White Paper outlines three areas of intervention for municipalities: crime prevention through social development or social crime prevention, crime prevention through environmental design and law enforcement. Crime Prevention through social development or social crime prevention focuses on the social, economic and cultural factors that contribute to criminality. This approach tackles individual, family and community risk factors that lead to crime and victimization. Crime Prevention through Social Development involves long-term, integrated actions that deal with the root causes of crime. Its aim is to reduce risk factors that start people, particularly children and youth, on the road to crime, and to build protective factors that may mitigate those risks. The risk factors associated with criminal involvement are also related to many other social problems, such as child abuse and neglect, drug and alcohol misuse, school failure, teenage pregnancy, and unemployment. So when people and organisations work together to prevent crime they are also working to make communities healthy, safe and sustainable in many respects. The findings revealed that municipalities are challenged and most social issues are diverted to other departments particularly the department of social development.


Mr Tshivhase attained a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Limpopo in 2014 and Bachelor of Arts Honours (Criminology) in 2015.  Studied for the Master of Social Sciences Degree in Criminology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the degree was awarded in 2018. He is currently a completed PhD scholar in Criminology at the University of Fort Hare. Currently employed as a Lecturer in Department of Criminology at the University of Fort Hare and has been lecturing since the year 2016. Further than research successes, Mr. Tshivhase has a teaching and research experience and taught both undergraduates and postgraduates courses (Specialises in Crime prevention, Policing, Juvenile Justices, Victimology, Criminological theories and community policing). Has been equally devoted as a postgraduate supervisor and has successfully supervised five honors students (mini-dissertations) and currently co-supervising two masters dissertations; four honors. Papers have been published in an accredited and peer reviewed journals.  Currently an affiliated member of Criminological Society of Africa (CRIMSA).

Adult-onset offending: A cross-national comparison

Dr Carleen Thompson1, Dr Steve van de Weijer2, Professor Lisa Broidy3, Professor Anna Stewart1
1Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Australia, 2The Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement, , The Netherlands, 3University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA

A considerable number of offenders have their first contact with the criminal justice system in adulthood. Despite this, adult-onset offending is poorly understood. Although adult-onset offenders are typically treated as one homogeneous group, emerging evidence suggests heterogeneity in the seriousness and persistence of adult-onset offending, which may be associated with important etiological differences. In this research we conduct a cross-national comparison of the nature and heterogeneity adult-onset offending using two population-based cohorts, the 1984 Queensland Linkage Project Cohort (adult-onset offenders = 10,457) and the Dutch 1984-birth cohort (adult-onset offenders = 17,084). Using latent class analysis, we detail heterogeneity in the frequency and nature of adult-onset offending for each cohort. Classes of adult-onset offenders are subsequently compared on age of onset, type and frequency of offending, gender and ethnicity. Comparisons of findings across the Queensland and Dutch cohorts suggest marked similarities in the number and characteristics of adult-onset offending classes. For both the Queensland and Dutch cohort, an onset of offending in adulthood signifies the beginning of strikingly different criminal careers. These distinct patterns of adult-onset offending likely have different causal pathways and necessitate different justice system responses. Findings challenge current conceptualisations of adult-onset offenders as one homogeneous group and suggest that failure to disaggregate adult-onset offenders may mask meaningful etiological differences. Implications for policy and practice, and life course theories of offending are discussed.


Dr Carleen Thompson is a lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. Her research explores early and contemporaneous factors associated with offending and reoffending using socio-ecological and life-course frameworks. Carleen has led projects advancing this research agenda in the areas of risk assessment, stalking, violence and, most recently, adult-onset offending. Carleen’s research has had considerable impact on policy and practice in Queensland, leading to state-wide changes in risk assessment practices across child protection, youth justice and adult corrections.

Making Crime a Development Issue: UNODC and the SDG

Jarrett Blaustein1, Tom Chodor1, Nathan Pino2
1Monash University, Clayton, Australia, 2Texas State University, San Marcos, USA

This article examines the history of United Nations (UN) crime policy as a way of unravelling the historical origins of a ‘crime-development nexus’ that has become institutionalized within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Using documentary analysis and elite interviews conducted with active and retired senior managers from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), we trace the institutional origins of this nexus back to the UN’s formative interest in the criminogenic consequences of rapid modernization following the Second World War. We then consider how the discursive framing of the relationship between crime and development evolved in response to critiques of modernization and the internationalization of the UN’s crime policy agenda with the onset of neoliberal globalization during the 1970s and 1980s. We then account for the emergence of transnational organized crime as a dominant focus of UN crime policy and the declining interest in development during the 1990s. The remainder of the article then presents a detailed account of UNODC’s efforts to advance the idea that crime is a threat to sustainable development during thirteen-year period preceding the adoption of the SDGs.

Jarrett Blaustein is a Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University. He is the author of Speaking Truths to Power (Oxford University Press, 2015) and his research focuses on intersections between global crime and development governance. As a member of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre, he also conducts research on community policing and the criminalisation of young people from migrant backgrounds.

Applying Social Bond Theory in China: Conceptual and Operational Issues

Spencer Li1
1University Of Macau, Taipa, Macao

As one of the most widely used criminological theories, the social bond theory may be especially applicable to China because of the important role of informal social control in regulating social order in the society. However, empirical studies aiming at using social bond theory to understand delinquency and crime in China face two issues: how social bond should be conceptually defined and how it should be empirically operationalized? There are generally two ways to understand the concept: a multidimensional construct consisting of four elements (Hirschi, 1969) and a unidimensional construct that is measurable by multiple indicators (Hirschi, 2004). The relative strength and weakness of the two types of measurement when they are applied to Chinese society have not been empirically established. The current study attempts to fill this gap. It has two main interrelated objectives: first, using data collected from a representative sample of Chinese adolescents, it empirically addresses the validity and reliability of the two types of measurement of social bond and determine their adaptability in the Chinese context; second, based on the finding from the previous analysis, the study incorporates the empirically verified measure of social bond into a model to assess how well it can predict delinquent behavior in China. Implications for future research on delinquency and crime in China from the social bond perspective are discussed.

Spencer D. Li is Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Macau. He also serves as President of the Asian Association for Substance Abuse Research and a member of the Narcotics Control Committee of the Macao Special Administrative Region of China. Dr. Li received a BA and a MA in Chinese literature from Peking University, and a PhD in sociology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of Maryland at College Park. Before joining University of Macau, Prof. Li worked as a statistician and project director at the U.S. Department of Justice. Previously, he held assistant professor positions in criminology and criminal justice at University of Maryland and Florida State University, two of the most renowned criminology programs in the world. His research interests include juvenile delinquency, corrections, substance abuse, child development, and religion and crime. Dr. Li has served as principal investigator on a number of publicly and privately funded projects related to juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and corrections, including grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. Administration for Children and Families, and Social Welfare Bureau of Macao Special Administrative Region Government. His publications have appeared in several major academic journals, including Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Evaluation Review, Journal of Early Adolescence, and International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. He is an associate editor of The Encyclopedia of Corrections. As of April of 2018, he had 1,771 citations on his research papers in Google Scholar.


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