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NCJ Number: 213983 
Title: Reintegrative Shaming and Restorative Justice: Reconciliation or Divorce? (From Institutionalizing Restorative Justice, P 237-260, 2006, Ivo Aertsen, Tom Daems, and Luc Robert, eds., -- See NCJ-213972)
Author(s): Roger Matthews
Date Published: 2006
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This chapter critiques the new generation of restorative justice (RJ) practices, particularly in terms of their theoretical underpinning: the reintegrative shaming thesis.
Abstract: Many critics are pointing out the chasm between the promise and rhetoric of the RJ models that emerged during the 1990s and the reality of RJ practices, particularly in terms of the problematic marriage of reintegrative shaming in theory and RJ in practice. Indeed, research into RJ practices around the world has found that many have failed to live up to their claims. John Braithwaite in his 1989 book put forth a reintegrative shaming thesis that was widely realized in the form of RJ practices, particularly family or group conferencing. Reintegrative shaming involves the public shaming of offenders followed by strategies for reintegration back into conventional society. The experiences of marginalized groups with RJ practices, such as the Aboriginal community in Australia, are examined in terms of their consequences of compounding inequalities, individualizing social problems, and privatizing disputes. The author explores the three main aspects of the reintegrative shaming theory--shame, reintegration, and recidivism--and observes that the thesis rests on a number of false dichotomies, such as reintegrative versus stigmatizing shaming and retributive versus restorative justice. Moreover, claims about the ability of RJ practices based on reintegrative shaming to reduce recidivism rates have yet to be realized. In closing, the author charges that the reintegrative shaming thesis, rather than offering a benign and humane form of punishment, results in a moralizing approach that makes an untenable distinction between stigmatizing and reintegrative shaming. References
Main Term(s): Criminal justice ideologies; Restorative Justice
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system reform; Theory
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