Laub and Sampson are interested in the agencies and social experiences through age-graded social and how they play a role in whether an individual decides to persist or desist from offending (Laub and Sampson 2003).
Laub and Sampson (2003:38) want to answer the question, “What are the mechanisms underlying the processes of persistent offending and desistance from crime?” To answer this question, Laub and Sampson look at informal social control agencies such as work, family, and military service. They want to acknowledge the underlying process they explain why individuals persist or desist from offending. A combination of situational and structural influences is what helps offenders ...view middle of the document...
Marriage and employment are important factors in the age-graded theory of informal social control because they follow rigorous social norms and expectations to adhere by. These agencies also allow for new opportunities that create a new routine for an individual and ultimately lead to identity transformations.
These three factors all help lead individuals to desist form a life of offending because the attachments individuals build increase their social capital.
From Laub and Sampson’s readings, military service and marriage seen to be the most important factors in crime desistance. Some individuals feel they have no other choice in their life and have to join the military rather than being homeless. In addition, the authors do mention that desistance can occur “unnaturally”. Desistance from crime in an unnatural manner can be due to injury or death (p. 139).
Laub and Sampson recognize there are two groups of people who will be persistent offenders. The first group was offenders who were arrested as juveniles, young adults, and older adults for crimes of violence. The second group of offenders was men arrested as juveniles, young adults, and older adults for violence that included arrests for violence in two out of the three phases of the life course (p. 150).
Though Laub and Sampson age-graded theory is highly recognized, there are some critiques about the theory. Giordano argue that Laub and Sampson’s theory does not recognize persistent offending patterns when an individual has a steady job or gets married. In...