NUMBER 99 • 2 SEPTEMBER 2002 • REINTEGRATIVE SHAMING
INDEX OF QUOTES
Tomkins teaches us that shame is a basic affect occurring spontaneously in all human beings when confronted about their wrongdoing. John Braithwaite, in Crime, Shame and Reintegration (1989) advises that the experience of dealing with shame should be reintegrative, not stigmatizing.
Braithwaite’s sociological theory of "reintegrative shaming" suggests that Western society’s current strategies for responding to crime and wrongdoing may actually be doing more harm than good. Schools and courts punish and humiliate offenders without offering a way to make amends, right the wrong or shed their "offender" label. Instead, offenders are stigmatized, alienated and pushed into society’s growing negative subcultures. They join the others in their school or community who feel excluded from the mainstream and become a source of persistent trouble.
Braithwaite says societies that reintegrate offenders back into the community have a lower crime rate than those that stigmatize and alienate wrongdoers. Reintegration involves separating the deed from the doer so that society clearly disapproves of the crime or inappropriate behavior, but acknowledges the intrinsic worth of the individual.
TERRY O'CONNELL, BEN WACHTEL AND TED WACHTEL
O'Connell, T., Wachtel, B. and Wachtel, T. (1999) Conferencing Handbook: The new Real Justice Training Manual. Pipersville: The Piper's Press, pp.25-26
Braithwaite, J. (1989) Crime, Shame and Reintegration. NewYork: Cambridge University Press