Reintegrative Shaming Project
Instructor: Gregory Mc Clelland
25 August 2014
Reintegrative Shaming Project
There are two programs that we can look into in hopes to help offenders reduce recidivism. Looking into one of these programs will help offenders to begin to feel confident and want something better for themselves. They will want to become a positive part of society and possibly help in ways to keep others from starting a life of crime. As a society, we want to figure out ways to ensure our communities are safe especially for our children. What options do we have to ensure this? What can we do or create to keep recidivism from happening? Well let’s create a program in which we use either reintegration shaming or stigmatic shaming to accomplish this goal. Shaming may not seem like a harsh word and is something we shy away from when we want to redirect children. However, in this situation we are not dealing with children. We are dealing with grown adults who have mastered, at some point in their lives, the concepts of right and wrong. Their choices however say otherwise, and they do need to be redirected into better behavior. Let’s examine these shaming methods and find what will work best for these individuals as well as our community. Reintegrative Shaming
Reintegrative shaming is being able to focus on the behavior of the offender and not the offender him/herself. Creating a program such as this will help reduce recidivism and keep offenders out of the prison system. Once we are able to keep the recidivism level down, we then keep the prison population down and begin to see the benefits of this program. Recidivism can be prevented by helping the offender understand that the behavior they chose was bad and not necessarily them as an individual. This program will help the offender see that situations and circumstances as factors in that particular behavior. The offender will begin to see that if they take themselves out of those situations or circumstances as much as possible, their lives will begin to be different. They can live lives that they never thought possible for themselves and for their families. The decisions that they will have to make to keep themselves out of trouble will be different and could alter their lives for the better instead of for, the worse. This does mean that they will need to change, their friends, and they may even need to reduce contact with their family. This is just something they will need to do to ensure their life starts to turn around for the better. Reintegrative shaming will provide the offender hope that they can change, and their lives can be different. That one bad decision does not have to define them if they do not want it to or let it. Focusing on the behavior separates the offender from the behavior and they can begin to see themselves differently. Once they are able to see themselves differently they will begin to see their community differently and want to make a difference and help others not make those same choices. Stigmatic Shaming
Braithwaite defined stigmatization as “shaming which creates outcasts, where 'criminal' becomes a master status trait that drives out all other identities, shaming where bonds of respect with the offender are not sustained” (Braithwaite, 1993, p. 1). Stigmatic shaming was predominantly used for the lower classes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in 1930, it disappeared in most Western nations, and it returned in the Victorian era, with a much higher level of violence as well, as a highly humiliating and out-casting system. During the nineteenth century and a good part of the twentieth century, the shaming became more reintegrative, but by the end of the twentieth century, “both a general weakening of shaming and some shift with neo-classicism back to stigmatic and away from reintegrative shaming” (Braithwaite, 1993, p. 10) was noticed. Urbanization and the...
References: Australian Institute of Criminology. (2011). Experiments in restorative policing: Final report. Canberra Reintegrative Shaming Experiments (RISE). Retrieved from: http://aic.gov.au/criminal_justice_system/rjustice/rise/final.html
Braithwaite, J. (1993). The British Journal of Criminology. Shame and Modernity. Retrieved from: https://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/jbraithwaite/_documents/Articles/Shame_Modernity_1993.pdf
McLaughlin, E. & Muncie, J. (2001) Controlling Crime. (2nd Ed.). Open University
Morris, A. (2001). Criminology – Aotearoa/New Zealand September (no. 16): 10-12. Revisiting reintegrative shaming. Retrieved from: http://www.restorativejustice.org/10fulltext/morris/view
Netter, B. (2005). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Avoiding the Shameful Backlash: Social Repercussions for the Increased Use of Alternative Sanctions. Retrieved from: http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=7218&context=jclc
Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminology Today: An Integrative Introduction. (6th Ed.). Prentice Hall.
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