Observations of Reintegrative Shaming in a Mental Health Court

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cindy Brooks Dollar, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This study compares the use of stigmatizing and reintegrative shame – as specified in Braithwaite’s Crime, shame and reintegration (1989) – across traditional criminal court and mental health court settings. Items from the Global Observational Ratings Instrument were used to gather data on 87 traditional court cases and 91 mental health court cases, presided over by five different judges. The observational items capture three constructs: respect, disapproval, and forgiveness, as they apply to Braithwaite’s theory. We present means tests to examine differences in shaming between court types and judges. Findings show that the mental health court is more likely to use reintegrative shaming and show respect and forgiveness for offenders, and less likely to show disapproval. Similarly, judges who preside in both court types are significantly more likely to practice reintegrative shaming in the mental health court context. We further explore these findings using field notes and illustrate those components of a mental health court that are conducive to reintegrative shaming.

Additional Information

International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 34(1), 49-55
Language: English
Date: 2011
Mental health court, Reintegrative shaming, Stigmatization, Court observation

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