Source: (2000) The Red Feather Journal of Postmodern Criminology 8. Downloaded 2 June 2004.

This article is an updated version of the authors’ chapter, “Strategy for community conferences: Emotions and social bonds,â€? 1996; in Restorative Justice: International Perspectives, ed. by B. Galaway and J. Hudson, 315-336; Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press. While the idea of shaming as an alternative to imprisonment has been much discussed and even implemented in some jurisdictions in recent years, Retzinger and Scheff contend that much of the discussion of shaming since the publication of that chapter has missed the point they tried to make. It is not just a question of shame or no shame. Shame is a complex emotion with many elements; hence, it is a question of how shame is experienced. The key point in this article is that the kind of shame which is uniformly effective in restorative justice is shame that comes from within the offender. Shame imposed from without almost always hardens the offender and subverts restorative justice. To argue their perspective, they discuss restorative justice conferences, aspects and types of shame, material and symbolic processes in crime control, and types of moral indignation.

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