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Community Conferences: Shame and Anger in Therapeutic Jurisprudence

Scheff, Thomas J.
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Revista Juridica Universidad de Puerto Rico 67: 97.

Despite the significant attention given to crime and public safety in Western societies, Thomas Scheff states that those societies have not made much progress in reducing crime and increasing public safety. Hence, in recent years an alternative approach to law has gained momentum. This movement has two vectors: restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence. Scheff sees these as very similar – the differences being largely conceptual. Taken together, restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence (RTJ) have the potential to resolve many kinds of conflict and to reduce inequities in the legal system. One form of RTJ relevant to crime control is victim-offender mediation. In this context, Scheff highlights that form of victim-offender mediation called community conferencing (also known as family group conferencing). He looks in particular at issues of shame and anger in community conferencing.


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