Leaving the Total Institution: Survival and desistance of justice-involved veterans in Australia

Associate Professor Anna Eriksson1, Dr Kate Burns1, Associate Professor Narelle Warren1

1Monash University

The process of transitioning from the military back to a civilian life can produce many challenges for veterans. Some of these can lead to criminal justice involvement, and incarceration might be seen as a result of a ‘failed’ transition, and a pathway out of one total institution into another. In this paper, we will engage in two focal areas: one that relates to an updated and relevant account of the characters and impacts of the total institution (Goffman 1964), and secondly, an innovative application of desistance theory to further explore and understand the dynamics surrounding the exit and transition phase  leaving these institutions. We utilise desistance theory as an innovative framework to understand the differences and similarities in the transition processes for those who serve time in both. We would argue that the transition out of these two institutions have a lot in common, and the success and failure of (re)integration processes connected to both can inform each other in so far unexplored ways, providing suggestions for pathways and support that results in successful processes of exit and reintegration.


Bio to come


Aug 30 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm