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National Institute of Justice on 7/2/2021
The ways that people on probation tend to think about crime can offer important clues about whether they will resume or reject a criminal life. A number of past studies have examined how probationers’ cognitions relate to recidivism, that is, a return to criminal activity. Less of the research has looked at links between cognition and desistance, that is, refraining from crime going forward. 
No consensus definition of “desistance” exists in the literature. Among other widely recognized meanings, desistance has been defined to be long-term abstinence from crime  or the gradual slowing down of offending. It can refer to the act of refraining from crime or the process of becoming, or remaining, crime-free.
A recent study supported by the National Institute of Justice has generated novel findings on probationers’ cognitions informing desistance, including insight into:
Probationers’ beliefs motivating a desire to desist from crime.
The tendency of probationers’ thoughts on desistance to evolve over time — or remain static.
Differences between probationers’ own thinking regarding desistance and their community supervision officers’ perceptions regarding those probationer cognitions.