• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Shaming is an under-used resource in crime control. Discuss

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Shaming is an under-used resource in crime control. Discuss. It has been suggested that shaming is an under-used resource in crime control. This raises issues over what shaming is, how it works, and what affect it can have on crime control and crime rates. To address these questions, I begin by explaining what shaming is and how it is used in practice, looking at both retributive and reintegrative shaming. I move on to discuss the weaknesses and strengths of shaming, incorporating discussion of theories underpinning why people commit crimes for the purposes of illustrating how far shaming may work. Finally, I consider how successful use of shaming could impact on crime rates and demonstrate the potential wider effect on rehabilitation, recidivism and prison populations. Shaming takes two forms, retributive and reintegrative (McLaughlin et al, 2003, p6; Hughes, 2001, p285). Retributive shaming involves stigmatising the offender, with public contempt shown for their actions. A consequence may be a prison sentence, excluding the individual from society. Emphasis is on punishing the criminal act and not on any possible prevention of future crime (McLaughlin et al, 2003 pp6-7). This is the standard model of law enforcement and crime control in the UK (Hughes, 2001, p258). Reintegrative shaming has a different focus. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, the offender condemns their condemners and appeals to the higher loyalties of their own subculture, both techniques of which affirm the validity of their actions (Sykes and Matza, pp234-236). As a crucial component of reintegrative shaming is acknowledgment of wrong-doing and acceptance of responsibility for their actions by the offender with an accompanying will to put things right, it can be seen that techniques of neutralisation form a powerful barrier to shaming, and are a fundamental weakness in its use as a crime control resource. Another weakness in the application of shaming is society itself. Braithwaite (2003, pp396-398) demonstrates how shaming works well in Japan. However, Japanese culture is more homogenous than is Western society, and holds respect in higher esteem (Hughes, 2001, p285). Shaming is used to great effect in New Zealand, where family conferences have success in determining responses to offending. But this relies on a strong family-orientated, communitarian society (Hughes, 2001, p286). The UK does not have this societal philosophy, with increasing numbers of divorce, lone parents and geographically dispersed families (Hall, 1998, pp10-11) Furthermore, research shows that poorly-educated, unemployed young men from ethic minority backgrounds feature most prominently in court proceedings, crime figures and prison (Box, 2003, p272; Sparks, 2001, p216). There is a worry that shaming could be used to further marginalise and remove power from already subordinate groupings, as happened to the Aboriginal people of Australia (Hughes, 2001, p288). ...read more.

Conclusion

On a lower level, it teaches people right from wrong, so that on a higher level the notion of committing criminal acts becomes unthinkable. Shaming goes beyond deterrence and connects individuals with their inner conscience. It can be seen that shaming has both strengths and weaknesses, with critics arguing that offenders will exploit restorative measures for their own gain. In addition, offenders' motives for criminality impact on how successful shaming may be; not all offenders lose family and peer status through offending, rendering shaming useless. Furthermore, techniques of neutralisation dilute the possible effects of shaming, as offenders rationalise their behaviour and cast themselves as the victim. This all sounds depressing, and shaming has a tough battle to fight. But the arguments for shaming are compelling. By engaging an individual's moral-emotional response to their own behaviour, shaming can cut youth crime and in doing so perhaps halt potential career criminals. Recidivism is reduced and, in the long-term, so too could be prison populations, allowing the fostering of more successful rehabilitation programmes. The end result could be more effective prisons promoting alternatives to crime for offenders upon release, less crime, fewer victims and enhanced societal quality of life. Shaming may be seen by some as a risk but, should the criminal justice system and society at large have the courage to pursue it as a crime control resource, the rewards could be very high. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Criminology essays

  1. Outline and critically discuss the way in which your studies have developed your understanding ...

    I believe social control has a very big influence on what society views as 'deviant' especially with teenage mothers. My view on teenage mothers was one that was slightly biased. Being twenty one, I have many friends a few years older and around the same age as myself who have

  2. Criminological Theory: Explaining Crime. This essay will look at how the subcultural theories ...

    in or respect the laws that forbid theft may be more likely to commit acts of theft (Rankin & Kern, 2005, p. 394). Matza and Sykes theory of drift and neutralisation may help us understand why those who aren't working class shoplift.

  1. Gun Control. In this paper, the author will discuss the magnitude of gun control ...

    The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 imposes a five-day waiting period on the purchase of a handgun and requires that local law enforcement agencies conduct background checks on purchasers of handguns. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 banned sale, manufacture, introduction, or possession of a number of specific types of assault weapons.

  2. "Prison makes bad people worse". Critically evaluate this statement in the light of rising ...

    uncontrollable crying and fits of rage along with disorganised thinking and severe depression. Three more prisoners were released on successive days with similar symptoms. A fifth prisoner was released when he developed a rash over his whole body following his 'parole' being rejected.

  1. 'Incapacitation is an effective way to reduce crime.' Discuss

    In addition, crime continues in prison and it stretches the concept of incapacitation to say that it has occurred; when all that has really happened is that the scope of victims has been limited to those 'inside'. Prison can also psychologically damage inmates (Chicknavorian 1990), and the prevalence of prison

  2. What are the aims of the Youth Justice System in England and Wales. How ...

    That so many youth courts used ISSP is proof of its acceptability to them. Further evidence demonstrates rigorous and consistent delivery of ISSP, though some schemes did fall short of this objective. Overall it appears ISSP's are effective in meeting the aims of the YJS and are a useful alternative to custody.

  1. Domestic violence. The following essay will concentrate on patriarchal-terrorism (Gilchrist et al. 2004) meaning ...

    4. London: Home Office Neidig, P. and Friedman, D.H. (1984). Spouse abuse: A treatment program for couples. Champaign, IL: Research Press. Nisbett R.E. and Cohen D. (1996). Culture of Honour: The Psychology of Violence in the South. Boulder, CO: Westview Novaco, R.W. (1978). 'Anger and coping with stress,' In J.P.

  2. Examine the relationship between crime and culture in contemporary British society. This essay is ...

    However, this is not only done by ?powerful? individuals. Crime of the powerful can be committed by large companies, institutions and even by governments in many cases. Governments are responsible to create equality and increase the welfare level in the society regardless of individual?s title, position or connections.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work