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Testing Braithwaite's theory of reintegrative shaming through data on the circle sentencing program in the Yukon

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Title: Testing Braithwaite's theory of reintegrative shaming through data on the circle sentencing program in the Yukon
Authors: Percival, Christel Skinner
Advisor: Matsuoka, Jon
Keywords: Restorative justice
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The theory of reintegrative shaming (Braithwaite, 1989) and circle sentencing program are examples of restorative justice initiatives. Restorative justice is part of a movement towards alternatives to the formal justice system based on retributive principles. Hypotheses based on Braithwaite's (1989) theory of reintegrative shaming were analyzed through data on the circle sentencing program in the Yukon Territory (Canada). Circle sentencing was introduced in 1992 primarily for sentencing First Nation (Aboriginal) offenders. Secondary data were collected on the outcome for 164 offenders and 10 communities who were involved between 1992 and 1997. Recidivism data were collected on offender contacts with the justice system for three years following initial circle sentencing. Fifty-three percent of offenders were convicted of further crimes. Recidivism increased to 68% when criminal charges and/or days incarcerated were included. Interdependency characteristics of offenders were predictor variables: age; gender; marital status; educational level; and employment status. Interdependency criterion variables were: 1) number of convictions (multiple regression); and 2) offender's status either as reintegrated or stigmatized (logistic regression). Communitarianism predictor variables were: urbanization (size of population) and mobility (population change and mobility). The criterion variable was average crime between 1994 to 1999). Combined interdependency and communitarianism predictor variables were also compared with the number of convictions. None of the regression models were found to be significant. Therefore, Braithwaite's (1989) theory did not describe the circle sentencing program as practiced in the Yukon. Limitations of the application of theory may include: 1) lack of opportunities and resources for offenders; 2) alcohol use by 95% of the population; 3) inadequate follow-up and support; 4) failure to adequately shame (accountability); and 5) historical and cultural damage. Community participation in planning initiatives would ensure innovations reflected community needs. Additional explanations could be the unique characteristics of the Yukon communities, especially with high levels of population mobility and population changes.
Description: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 136-149).
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Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Social Welfare

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