The Role of Shame in Restorative Justice and Rehabilitation Journal

Offenders may organically feel shame as they pass through the stages of the criminal justice process and think about the crime they committed and the resulting harm to victims. In addition, the court may impose shame on offenders through punishments designed to humiliate. For example, a judge ordered a Cleveland woman to wear a sign saying she was an idiot after being caught driving on the sidewalk to pass a school bus (Donaldson, 2012). According to criminologist John Braithwaite (2018), shame can be helpful or harmful depending on how it is used.

Is shame a necessary prerequisite for criminal accountability? Is shame rehabilitative, or is it detrimental to the offender? In this Journal, you consider the role of shame in restorative justice and rehabilitation.

Braithwaite, J. (2018). Minimally sufficient deterrence. Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, 47(1), 69–118. doi:10.1086/696043

Donaldson, S. (2012, November 13). Cleveland woman holds “idiot” sign as part of sentence for passing school bus. Retrieved from…

Does shame fit into the restorative justice paradigm? Why or why not?

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