Making Good: How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1557987310
ISBN-10: 1557987319
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner, American Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Research in Criminology, 2001

About the Author

Hans Toch is professor of psychology in the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Albany. He is an elected fellow of the American Psychological Association as well as the American Society of Criminology. He has been president of the American Association of Forensic Psychology. He was also the Project Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Crime and Delinquency at Sacramento, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 712 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association; 1 edition (June 7, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 7, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Q6CX32
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #320,281 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By George Grunwald on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a psychiatric social worker in prison and parole mental health settings for eighteen years. During my first few years working at prison, I searched for guidance in the literature on therapy of criminality. I found little. The literature then available -- the late eighties, early nineties -- was written by advocates who idealized prisoners, or by wannabe prosecutors who demonized them. Both camps presented ideology; neither portrayed reality, at least as I saw it; they were of no help in my efforts to help my clients quit crime. Making Good does present that reality. It does so very well. I would have found it helpful at the outset of my career in corrections, and believe it would still be valuable to clinicians now.

Making Good is based on interviews with approximately sixty men and women with histories of petty crime. Half had quit crime, half were still at it. The interview transcripts ring true. In them I recognize the men I saw in individual and group therapy. Building on these interviews, Dr. Maruna articulates achievable and relevant treatment objectives.

He starts with a basic observation. Most petty criminals "age out." They get jobs. They get married. They stop committing crimes. Although this phenomenon is well documented, it is not understood. We do not know why some men give up crime while others continue. Dr. Maruna considers the usual explanations for this aging out process -- "maturation," burnout, increased social and economic opportunity. He shows none of these factors explain why some men leave the life of crime while others do not.

Calling criminals who quit crime "desisters," and those who continue "persisters." he asks if comparing the two sets can lead to an explanation of why some criminals quit while others continue.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Maruna shines the bright lights of objectivity, intellectual courage, and scientific inquiry, into a dimly understood subject, one which too many people would rather ignore: Specifically, why is criminal recidivism so commonplace, what are the social policies and practices that discourage rehabilitation, what beliefs about criminal behavior do we need to re-examine, how do some offenders manage to reconstruct their lives in spite of all the barriers, and what should we be learning from them. He doesn't preach, he doesn't harangue, he just presents the facts in a convincing and very readable manner, and enlivens the text with a variety of case histories and interviews. Sure to be appreciated by the general public as well as behavioral scientists and correctional experts, "Making Good..." is destined to be a classic in its field.
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Format: Hardcover
Winner of a 2001 American Society of Criminology Award for Most Outstanding Contribution To Criminology, this meticulously researched book describes the process through which hard-core criminal recidivists desist from crime to lead productive lives.

As the pendulum begins to turn from a crazed rush to incarcerate, there is more and more interest in the topic of prisoner re-entry. What can help criminals turn their lives around and become productive citizens? This book is a great starting point for answering this complex question.
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Format: Paperback
There are already a number of very intelligent reviews here, especially George Grunwald's. I can't add much beyond those. This is an excellent book, my only question is whether the author looked at the general issue of what leads people into criminal behavior in the first place and the issues about the role of our criminal justice system and high incarceration rate. Also, social issues. How important is the high unemployment rate and poor education in the low income minority communities that many of the incarcerated come from to their criminal careers, e.g.? Other books worth reading:

Alexander, Michelle, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, The New Press, 2010

Bernstein, Nell, All Alone in the World: Children of the Incarcerated, New Press, The, 2007

Bernstein, Nell, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, New Press, The, 2014

Blackmon, Douglas A., Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, Anchor; Reprint edition, 2009

Clear, Todd R., Imprisoning Communities: How Mass Incarceration Makes Disadvantaged Neighborhoods Worse (Studies in Crime and Public Policy), Oxford University Press, USA 2009

Clear, Todd R.
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Format: Paperback
Because of prison overcrowding here in California, many have been released early from prison and sent to outpatient clinics. Hence, many of them have come to see me. This book helped me a lot while working with those who have been in and out of prison for years.

Shadd Maruna actually studied the narratives of those who have desisted from crime with those who haven't and found significant differences in the way they think. To determine how likely it was for a client to return back to prison, I would compare their narratives with those in the book.

While recidivism rates continue to be high, this book does give one hope as everyone does eventually desist from crime.
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