Restorative Justice

In the recent past, the reintegrative shaming theory by Braithwaite has been extensively applied in different places to serve as a significant basis for restorative justice. Restorative justice is considered as a system of criminal justice that focuses on the restorative justice of the offenders by reconciling the victims and the community at large (Siegel, 2015). The theory is a fundamental approach, which depends on the degree of the victim’s involvement. Braithwaite argues that the theory is effective in preventing criminal behaviors in a community. The general impact of shaming, different from the formal approach of punishment, may influence the reintegration of shaming as a formal legal approach in the criminal justice system. In the US, for instance, restraining criminal activities can be effective by increasing the level of disapproval of the offender’s actions in the community (Losoncz, & Tyson, (2007). This would enable the offender to realize that what he/she did was wrong and would, therefore, feel ashamed in the process. In a standard legal system, the reintegrative shaming approach can be applied to encourage or support movements that expose an individual’s criminal behaviors and shame them. It is essential to remove the legal restrictions that prevent the formation of shaming organizations in the US to enhance the reduction of criminal behaviors in the country. This approach is effective and can lead to a given degree of criminal behavior control (Losoncz, & Tyson, (2007). This approach emphasizes the value of shame in criminal punishment. It is essential to focus on the behavior of the offender instead of the offender’s characteristic. Societies will have a lower rate of criminal activities if they communicate shame about their crime. However, they would have a lot of violence if the violence behaviors are not treated as shameful. The shamefulness of a crime should not be communicated in a stigmatizing manner. This would increase the rate of crime. However, through reintegrative shaming, the shame would be expressed in a way that would encourage the wrongdoer to desist from the crime again (Siegel, 2015). This approach conveys disapproval within a continuum of respect for the wrongdoer, treating the offender as a good person who has however done a bad thing.



Losoncz, I., & Tyson, G. (2007). Parental shaming and adolescent delinquency: A partial test of reintegrative shaming theory. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology40(2), 161-178.

Siegel, L. J. (2015). Criminology: The Core. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.