Meaningful change : exploring the process of change through membership in the 7th Step Society

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dc.contributor.advisor Livingston, James D.
dc.creator Hester, Amanda
dc.date.accessioned 2019-06-10T13:52:47Z
dc.date.available 2019-06-10T13:52:47Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.other HV9309 N8 H47 2019
dc.identifier.uri http://library2.smu.ca/handle/01/28919
dc.description 186 leaves ; 29 cm
dc.description Includes abstract.
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 183-186).
dc.description.abstract The 7th Step Society of Nova Scotia is a peer support group for ex-offenders. The role that such groups play in supporting desistance from crime has received little scholarly attention. To address this knowledge gap, this research explored how the 7th Step Society creates relationships, experiences, and meanings, that facilitate desistance, personal growth, and change within its membership. It examined the process of change as it involves both individual and social variables within a reciprocal process of mutual transformation and exchange between ex-offenders and society. The research is particularly unique in looking at the role and experience of non-offender volunteers within the desistance process. It used an ethnographic framework involving participant observation, document analysis, and semi-structured interviews with 17 participants. Through thematic analysis of the data, the following four themes were produced: 1) Trust and Openness: the foundation of accountability, 2) Accountability: the foundation of change, 3) Giving Back: reintegration and the maintenance of change, and 4) Connection: stabilizing change through relationship with others. These themes tell the story of an interconnected process and cycle of personal growth, understanding, and transformation that is created through 7th Step. The findings indicate that a more holistic approach needs to be taken in terms of the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, including greater peer support and mentorship within the process of desistance; engaging, empowering, and learning from ex-offenders themselves. The study also points to the need to engage with the expertise and experience of ex-offenders to help develop, deepen, and expand the understanding of desistance, both as a personal path of recovery, and also as a socially mediated process that requires ongoing encouragement and support. en_CA
dc.language.iso en en_CA
dc.publisher Halifax, N.S. : Saint Mary's University
dc.subject.lcc HV9309.N8
dc.subject.lcsh 7th Step Society of Nova Scotia
dc.subject.lcsh Criminals -- Rehabilitation -- Nova Scotia
dc.subject.lcsh Ex-convicts -- Services for -- Nova Scotia
dc.title Meaningful change : exploring the process of change through membership in the 7th Step Society en_CA
dc.type Text en_CA
thesis.degree.name Master of Arts in Criminology
thesis.degree.level Masters
thesis.degree.discipline Criminology
thesis.degree.grantor Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)


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