Back to RJ Archive

Reintregative Shaming and Restorative Justice: Reconciliation or Divorce?

Matthews, Roger
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Ivo Aertsen, Tom Daems and Luc Robert, editors, Institutionalizing Restorative Justice. Cullompton, Devon and Portland: Willan Publishing Press pp.237-257

The author begins this chapter by expressing the ever-recognizable gap between the intentions and rhetoric of restorative justice and the reality of restorative justice. The chapter consists of the author’s analysis of various other authors’ reviews of different restorative justice programs and practices. In the beginning of the chapter, the author reiterates John Braithwaite’s view that shaming should be followed by reintegration strategies in order to avoid stigmatization. However, he subsequently states that the negative impact of shaming is not likely to be completely alleviated by a reintegrative approach. The reasons for this are as follows: not all offenders are responsive to shaming-type sanctions; it focuses on minor offenders, not hardened offenders, which causes the efforts to work best in situations when they may not be most needed; and there is no guarantee that those who experience a shaming sanction will be effectively reintegrated. Later sections discuss shame and trust, guilt and shame, and recidivism. The author concludes the chapter by saying that the combination of reintegrative shaming and restorative justice may cause more difficulties than advantages, but that blame for this should not be placed on either concept.


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now