Exploring and explaining non-compliance with community supervision

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Despite a developed theoretical and empirical body of research into the dynamics of compliance with community supervision, the phenomenon of non-compliance has received surprisingly less attention. This article explores the perspectives and experiences of 93 people in Scotland who were breached or recalled for non-compliance with the community sentences or post-release licences they were subject to. Drawing on this analysis, we advance an integrated, theoretically explanatory and empirically-informed model demonstrating the contributions of, and interplay between, three key elements we identified as shaping non-compliance: motivational postures and attitudinal stances, and their underlying mechanisms; various systemic, structural and social influences that bind the exercise of agency and shape situations of actions; and the impacts and effects of people’s interactions with authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-455
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
Issue number2
Early online date10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


  • breach
  • non-compliance
  • procedural justice
  • motivational postures
  • community supervision


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