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The Right Kind of Shame for Crime Prevention

Sherman, Lawrence W
June 4, 2015

Source: (1997) Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE), Australian National University, Canberra. RISE Working Papers: Paper No. 1.

Claiming that the Australian Federal Police in Canberra have adopted alternative restorative justice techniques, the authors discuss two kinds of shame, as distinguished by John Braithwaite: stigmatic shaming, which disintegrates the moral bonds between the offender and the community; and reintegrative shaming, which strengthens the moral bonds between the offender and the community. They argue that shame does not require humiliation. Rather, reintegrative shaming condemns the crime, not the criminal. It gives offenders the opportunity to re-join their community as law-abiding citizens. In order to earn that right to a fresh start, offenders must express remorse for their past conduct, apologise to any victims and repair the harm caused by the crime.


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