Restorative Shaming In Criminal Justice

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Justice is the very essence of the traditional criminal justice system. This formal system involves the intervention of the state in remedying socially disapproved behaviors by particular individuals in the society. As such, the process strives to punish the offender accordingly and in so doing ensure that justice is served for both the victim and the offender. However, there has been a growing debate on the use of other alternatives to the criminal justice system. This has arisen due to various factors such as a growing dissatisfaction on the traditional criminal justice system in its failure to serve the victim’s search for justice. In addition, there are crimes where justice can only emerge using other informal means. It is also crucial…show more content…
It communicates to the offender and the community of the unsocial behavior and its disapproval. Harris (2006, p.328) postulates that re-integrative shaming can significantly affect the justice process in a positive way. In most cases where offenders are arraigned in court, it is difficult to determine whether they are remorseful or even ashamed of their crimes. This factor leaves the victims even more perturbed when offenders seek to defend their crimes. Re-integrative shaming which involves the show of disapproval of offenders’ crimes in an environment where there is no labeling or condemnation allows victims to get the empathy and understanding of their hurt from…show more content…
It is possible for victims to emerge more fearful after engaging in restorative justice. This is so especially in serious crimes where fear of retaliation is rife if they are handled in court. However, the alternative which involves close deliberations with the offender, other members of the victims’ families and community members may leave the victim afraid of victimization by those involved in the process. This fear only increases the victim’s anxiety and delays their healing and the resolution of the conflict. Also, there are victims who do not want to be actively involved in the justice process because they feel either threatened or vulnerable. In this case, seeking the traditional criminal justice process which is highly formal and impersonal may be the best
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