Desistance from crime and recovery from drug misuse share similar characteristics. Researchers, in
both fields of desistance and recovery, acknowledge the importance of societal responses, besides
personal and social factors, in initiating and sustaining desistance and recovery. However, the
mechanisms contributing to this are not yet clearly understood.
Starting from the recovery field, one angle to unravel this interaction is by the concept of ‘ecovery
capital’ consisting of personal, social and community resources facilitating recovery. The emerging
body of work on recovery capital has mainly been carried out with an alcohol or illicit drug using
sample, rather than in a population involved in offending. Leading experts in the field of recovery
however, argue that concepts derived from and elaborated within addiction and recovery research
inspire the conceptual development and understanding of desistance and contribute to the
emerging field of studying desistance and recovery.
As such, we will introduce the concept of recovery capital to a criminology audience and apply it to
offenders who misuse drugs.
Based on a multimethod design, this study will explore whether recovery capital -and the degree
of personal, social and community capital- supports initiating and sustaining desistance and
recovery among a group that has previously been involved in both drug misuse and offending.