The Road from Crime

Allan Weaver is an ex-offender turned probation officer who asks a simple question – how can a criminal go straight and stay straight?

What can we learn from these life transformations? And in particular how can the world of probation and prison learn from success stories like Allan’s?

Starting where it all began on the streets of his hometown and in Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow, Allan sets off to understand how individuals get caught up in cycles of crime and punishment, and how they desist from these patterns and move on to new lives. This journey takes him across the UK, meeting an array of ex-prisoners and ex-prisoner activist groups, probation officers, and prison experts from London to Washington, DC. He discovers a dynamic network, led by, and for, ex-prisoners championing a new model of criminal justice practice. 

With an emphasis on learning from success stories and an understanding of desistance as a journey, Allan hears stories of hope and self-belief, where individuals found meaning and purpose in their own lives by making a contribution to the lives of others.

In this documentary, Allan uncovers new evidence that challenges both criminal justice practice and policy here and internationally. He asks the question does probation, in particular, and criminal justice in general, need to refocus its lens? 

To find out more and join in the conversation visit the Discovering Desistance blog.

This project is funded by the Economic Social Research Council’s ‘Follow on Fund‘ which aims to advance academic research into the wider community.

The content of this film is a result of a collaboration of research between academics at Glasgow University, Queen’s University Belfast and Sheffield University.

Format1 x 48 mins
Production Year2012
TX Date2012
Executive ProducerAshlene Aylward
Produced byEamonn Devlin
Directed byEamonn Devlin