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Parent-Child Dynamics in Community Conferences – Some Questions for Reintegrative Shaming, Practice and Restorative Justice

Prichard, J
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 35(3): 330-346 .

This paper discusses two aspects of Crime, Shame and Reintegration (Braithwaite, 1989) concerning the parents of young offenders in reintegrative shaming ceremonies. First, the paper tackles Braithwaite’s assumption that parents of young offenders are substantively similar to any other participants in the ceremony. Two sources of evidence are
drawn upon: psychology literature regarding parental self-efficacy (Bandura, 1989; Coleman & Karraker, 1997) and qualitative observations of 34 community conferences in Tasmania, to suggest that in community conferences parents are likely to feel personally judged by other adult
participants and even “on trial”. Second, the paper considers the dangers inherent in Braithwaite’s assertion that directing shame at parents of young offenders can be conducive to reintegrative shaming. The dangers discussed include the stigmatisation of parents, in some cases
critical damage to the confidence of parents in their parenting abilities, and the disruption of parent–child relationships. Ultimately, shaming parents may worsen the environment of the young offender concerned. (author’s abstract)


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