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NCJ Number: 148575 Find in a Library
Title: Conditions of Successful Reintegration Ceremonies: Dealing with Juvenile Offenders
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1994)  Pages:139-171
Author(s): J Braithwaite; S Mugford
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 33
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article identifies factors that make for successful juvenile reintegration ceremonies in New Zealand and Australia.
Abstract: The study involved observations of community conferences for 23 juvenile offenders in Auckland, New Zealand, and Wagga Wagga, Australia. The theory of reintegrative shaming (Braithwaite 1989, 1993) has been offered as a way of achieving two major aims. First, it recasts criminological findings in a more coherent and productive fashion. Second, it offers a practical basis for a principled reform of criminal justice practices. Central to the endeavor is an understanding of the relationship between crime and social control that argues for the shaming of criminal acts and the subsequent reintegration of deviant actors once suitable redress and apology have been made. Societies that have low rates of common types of crimes, such as Japan, rely more upon this type of social control. Conversely, high-crime societies, such as the United States, rely on stigmatization, thus doing little to prevent recidivism. Reintegrative shaming in the two cities studied involves assembling in a room the offender and supporters of the offender (usually nuclear family) along with the crime victim and supporters (usually nuclear family) under the supervision of a coordinator. The psychological, social, and economic consequences of the offense for victims, offenders, and others are elicited in discussions guided by the coordinator. Disapproval, often very emotional, is expressed by victims and their supporters. At the same time, the coordinator cultivates support for and forgiveness toward the offender from conference participants. A common feature of these conferences in both cities is their ceremonial or ritual character. This article identifies and discusses 14 conditions for successful reintegration ceremonies. Some principles that emerge from these conditions are to empower the victim, respect and support the offender while condemning the act, and engage the offender's supporters. 68 references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Australia; Corrections; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile reintegration; New Zealand
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