Reintegrative shaming, shame, and criminal justice

Nathan Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    This study tested the implication of reintegrative shaming theory (RST) (Braithwaite, 1989) that social disapproval (shaming) has an effect on the emotions that offenders feel. Interviews were conducted with 720 participants who had recently attended a court case or family group conference in the Australian Capital Territory, having been apprehended for driving while over the legal alcohol limit. Analyses show that shame-related emotions were predicted by perceptions of social disapproval, but that the relationship was more complex than expected. Differences between the shame-related emotions may have implications for theory. Comparisons between the court cases and family group conferences were consistent with expectations that restorative justice interventions would be more reintegrative, but also showed that they were not perceived as less stigmatizing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)327-346
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of Social Issues
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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