Digest of terms

recidivism

habitual lapsing into crime or repeat offending. This tendency is commonly attributed to the determinants of social context (eg. lack of alternative sources of income on emerging from prison) or of biogenetic predisposition. To counter the impact of social pressure government and/or charitable agencies may put in place alternative sources of support. To counter 'innate' tendencies, avoidance strategies may be recommended. A risk arising from alternative support provision may be the creation of a new state of dependence. And avoidance strategies may prove weaker than the original attraction. Recidivism serves to highlight the question of free will - a capacity easy to affirm, claim for oneself and attribute to others, even when the power of social constraint and personal compulsion may be recognizably powerful in individual human experience.

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