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Shame and religion as factors in the rehabilitation of serious offenders

Gibbons, Stephen G
June 4, 2015

Source: Typed manuscript (photocopy). Monmouth, Oregon: Western Oregon University.

In this paper, the authors present part of a research study on ex-offenders who had committed serious crimes and who have not re-offended. In particular the authors investigate the role of shame and religion in the decision not to re-offend. The method of the study is described in detail. Examples of narratives by ex-offenders on shame and the shaming process are included. The authors then analyze and discuss possible conclusions based on the results of the study. They argue that many factors are at work in the decision not to re-offend, but that the combination of shame and religiosity increase motivation and capacity to refrain from further criminal activity.


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