Victimology and Criminal Justice System

Victimology and Criminal Justice System
Lisa Moore
CJA 540
May 7, 2010
Dr. Timothy Emerick

Victimology and Criminal Justice System
      According to Karmen (2003) “victimology is the scientific study of victimization, including the relationships between victims and offenders, the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system that is, the police and courts, and corrections officials and the connections between victims and other social groups and institutions, such as the media, businesses, and social movements, and a victim is any person who has been harmed by another person.”   Alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system, such as shaming, peacemaking strategies, and restorative justice have been a growing part of the debate surrounding the theory of criminology.
      With the alternatives to criminal justice system, the most distinctive contribution “has been John Braithwaite’s theory of re-integrative shaming, which states “the efficacy of re-integrative shaming, and the counter-productiveness of stigmatization in controlling crime” (Moore, 1993).   The theory of re-integrative “shaming argues that the importance of social disapproval has generally been underestimated by institutions of criminal justice as well as criminological theory. To understand crime rates we need to examine the degree to which offending is shamed and whether that shaming is re-integrative or stigmatic” (Harris. 2001 pp. 71–207).
      According to Braithwaite (pp. 323, 323, 1989) “re-integrative shaming as disapproval is respectful of the person, is terminated by forgiveness, does not label the person as evil, nor allows condemnation to result in a master status trait. The theory predicts that re-integrative shaming will result in less offending. Conversely, stigmatizing shaming is not respectful of the person, is not terminated by forgiveness, labels the person as evil and allows individual to attain...