Marriage as an intervention in the lives of criminal offenders

Jessica M. Craig, Brie Diamond, Alex R. Piquero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Criminology has long been interested in identifying evidence-based interventions that can help redirect criminal pathways. Although not within the purview of the criminal justice system, other nontraditional interventions have also emerged as generally effective desistance-promoting factors. One intervention in particular, marriage, is the focus of this chapter. Herein, we provide a brief overview of some of the main theoretical frameworks that have articulated a marriage effect of criminal desistance. Then, we provide a detailed review of the empirical literature assessing the relationship between marriage and crime. The chapter closes by offering summary conclusions as well as highlighting several directions for future research. Identifying the correlates of criminal desistance is important for theory-but is especially important for public policy (Laub and Sampson 2001). To the extent that aspects of offenders' lives that influence continued offending can be identified and addressed, then evidence-based policies and programs can target at-risk offenders with the hope of helping to foster and/or aid in the desistance process (see Sherman et al. 2002). One particular correlate that has received much theoretical and empirical attention, though not routinely considered a criminal-justice-applied intervention, is marriage. The relationship of marriage to criminal desistance has long been recognized in the criminological literature and resonates well with many criminological frameworks-especially control theories of crime that focus on the accumulated bonds that prevent persons from offending. This chapter provides a brief overview of some of the main theoretical frameworks that have articulated a marriage effect of criminal desistance. This is followed by a review of the empirical literature assessing the relationship between marriage and crime. Summary conclusions and directions for future research complete the chapter.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEffective Interventions in the Lives of Criminal Offenders
EditorsJohn A. Humphrey, Peter Cordella
PublisherSpringer
Chapter2
Pages19-37
Number of pages19
Volume9781461489306
ISBN (Electronic)9781461489306
ISBN (Print)1461489296, 9781461489290
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

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