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67 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 97 (1998)
Community Conferences: Shame and Anger in Therapeutic Jurisprudence

handle is hein.journals/rjupurco67 and id is 109 raw text is: 






  COMMUNITY CONFERENCES: SHAME AND ANGER IN
              THERAPEUTIC JURISPRUDENCE

                     THOMAS J. SCHEFF*


                       I. INTRODUCTION
  In Western societies, crime occupies an undue proportion of
our time, attention, and resources. We are moving toward a
siege state, with alarmed homes, cars, and prisons. We continue
to pass more laws and build more prisons, while our schools are
underfunded. Yet we seem not to have made much progress:
Crime remains at the top of the list when the public is polled
about the problems that concern them most. Crime is clearly the
primary form of conflict on our public agenda.
  In recent years, an alternative approach to law, a worldwide
movement, has been building momentum. This movement has
two vectors, restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence
(RTJ). RTJ has the potential to resolve many kinds of conflict
and reduce inequities in the legal system. Compared to the
traditional legal model of justice, courts, judges, lawyers and
prisons, restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence are
quite similar. The difference between the two is mostly concep-
tual. As a frame within which to criticize and modify legal jus-
tice, therapeutic jurisprudence offers a strikingly different
model, the mode of therapy as it is used in medical and psycho-
logical treatment. Although close inspection reveals that the
therapeutic model is quite diverse, and therefore somewhat am-

  * Thomas J. Scheff is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of
California, Santa Barbara. He is a former Chair of the Section on the Sociol-
ogy of Emotions, American Sociological Association, and the President of the
Pacific Sociological Association. His fields of research are social psychology,
emotions, mental illness, and new approaches to theory and method. His cur-
rent studies concern anger management, solidarity-alienation, and alternative
methods of crime control. His latest book EMOTIONS, THE SOcIAL BOND, AND
HuMAN REALITY (Cambridge University Press, 1997) outlines a unified ap-
proach to theory and method in the human sciences.
  The author thanks Suzanne Retzinger, Terry O'Connell, and Irene Bronston
and her staff.

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