Informal Social Control and ‘Reform’: Marriage, Employment and Desistance from Crime

Barry S. Godfrey, David J. Cox and Stephen D. Farrall

in Criminal Lives

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217205
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191696046 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology

Informal Social Control and ‘Reform’: Marriage, Employment and Desistance from Crime

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This chapter explores the role of the Works in the lives of offenders and some non-offenders. It considers those factors associated with the desistance amongst the sample of both persistent offenders and those who were employed at the Railway Works. It is limited to considering only those factors that the study had access to data about, and these were social in nature. The data shows that marriage in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries may not have acted as the brake on male offending that it does today. Social mores surrounding drinking and employment greatly influenced the nature of the trouble in which some of the sample found themselves. Employment at the Works stabilized the offending of persistent offenders to a certain degree. The number of convictions recorded against them after they commenced at the Works steadied, and the rate at which they were convicted went down slightly too.

Keywords: desistance; male offending; marriage; Railway Works; employment

Chapter.  12894 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Criminal Law

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