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Shame, Guilt, and Remorse: Experiences from Family Group Conferences in New Zealand

Morris, Allison
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Ido Weijers and Anthony Duff, eds., Punishing Juveniles: Principle and Critique. Oxford: Hart Publishing. P. 157-178.

After extensive academic experience studying conventional youth justice systems, Morris has spent a decade carrying out research and writing about youth justice in New Zealand. Central to this youth justice system is the family group conference. In family group conferences in New Zealand, young offenders, their victims, and their respective “communities of careâ€? come together to decide how best to deal with the offending. The family group conference model is premised on a very different value system from conventional youth justice systems. It encourages young offenders to accept responsibility for their acts and to express remorse by making amends to the victim. Yet it does not require offenders to feel shame or to be shamed. Morris notes that this view of the role of shame, guilt, and remorse is a matter of debate. With all of this in mind, Morris examines the role and relevance of shame, guilt, and remorse in family group conferences in New Zealand.


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