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The Role of Shame, Guilt, and Remorse in Restorative Justice Processes for Young People

Maxwell, Gabrielle
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Elmar G.M. Weitekamp and Han-Jurgen Kerner, Restorative Justice: Theoretical Foundations. Deon, UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 267-284.

Maxwell and Morris point out that shame is both a response by an individual and a method of sanctioning others. This distinction is important in several respects. For example, the use of shame as a sanction may induce a range of emotions in an individual that may or may not include feeling shame. Also, a person may experience shame without any inducement by another. There is now a considerable amount of literature on shame and shaming, a prime example being John Braithwaite’s 1989 book Crime, Shame and Reintegration. Hence, there is much debate about the role of shame in everyday life and the criminal justice system. Against this background, Maxwell and Morris review certain examples of linguistic analysis of shame, guilt, and remorse; some of the empirical literature on these emotions; the role of shame in the criminal justice process; and research findings on the role of shame, guilt, and remorse in family group conferences in New Zealand.


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