Reintegrative and Disintegrative Shaming: Legal and Ethical Issues

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter considers a range of legal and ethical issues raised by the use of reintegrative and disintegrative shaming techniques (Braithwaite, 1989) with sex offenders. ‘Disintegrative shaming’ labels and stigmatises offenders, ostracises them from the local community and may result in violence directed towards offenders (McAlinden, 2005, 2007). ‘Reintegrative shaming’, on the other hand, focuses on rehabilitating the offender within a supportive community environment and assisting the offender in their efforts to change. The former is evident in the range of recent legislative responses designed to protect the community from sex offenders such as notification as well as the popular demand for measures which ‘name and shame’ known sex offenders. The latter is more clearly related to restorative measures such as circles of support and accountability. This chapter argues that although traditionally at opposite ends of the intervention spectrum, each type of mechanism gives rise to potentially difficult legal and ethical considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWiley-Blackwell Handbook of Legal and Ethical Aspects of Sex Offender Treatment and Management (edited by Karen Harrison and Bernadette Rainey)
Place of PublicationChichester
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-1-1199-4555-0
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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