Perhaps the most common use of shame regarding crime involves the government or other officials shaming rule-breakers as a form of punishment. The logic of rational choice theory [his link] suggests that threatened shame should increase the costs of crime and thus deter future crime.

Thus shame gets added to a list of potential punishments, including prison and fines that keep people from committing crime. A wide variety of shame is used in criminal justice as a punishment. Arrestees have their mug-shots published (and they are never flattering). Some communities publish the names of men arrested as johns in prostitution stings. There have even been attempts to require sex offenders to use a special color license plate for their car.

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