This book uses historical data to directly address modern criminological debates. There is currently a huge growth of interest in histories of crime, and intellectual conversations and connections between historians and criminologists are becoming much more frequent. However, published work which uses historical data to this extent is rare. This book's aim is to draw a wide audience from the worlds of criminology, history, and social policy and engage in a genuinely interdisciplinary debate. This book addresses a number of important questions about offenders' persistence in, or desistance from, crime and questions the current theoretical frameworks that are given to explain why some people stop, or slow down, their offending, and why offenders' children become involved in crime. By using criminal registers, census material, and newspaper reports from 1880 -1940 for one industrial town in North-West England, this book asks how and why did some people stop offending, and what part did employment, relationship formation, and family responsibility play in that process; was criminality passed on from parent to child, and if so, how; and to what extent were persistent offenders also persistent victims?