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June Tangney claims in "Condemn the Crime" that shaming tactics, in which punishments are deliberately intended to evoke feelings of guilt, humiliate criminals, make it almost difficult for them to alter their negative habits" (Tangney 567).
Tangney separates emotions enlisted from the feelings of embarrassment and remorse to sustain his theory. She also discusses how enlisted emotions influence future behavioral and emotional behavior (Tangney 567). Tangney describes shame as a sensation of being exposed, useless, and weak (Tangney 567). This feeling leads to the self-humiliating sense of being a “bad person,” a feeling that does not motivate constructive behavioral change (Tangney 567). Instead, the shamed persons become irrationally angry with others or indulge in more destructive behaviors. In contrast, the feeling of guilty elicits the feeling of remorse or regrets, leading to the realization that one committed crime, rather than the feeling that one is a bad person. According to Tangney, the sense that one committed a crime compels the individual to change the bad behavior. In contrast the sense that one has a bad character, which does not enlist the desire to change behavior (568).
Consequently, Tangney proposes return to sentences that aim at condemning the crime and not the offender, which helps in enlisting the feeling of guilt, thus promotes behavioral change. One effective strategy is the use of guilt-centered community services sentences. Guilt-centered community services sentences reveal the tangible destruction and misery caused by the offense, thus compel the offender to change the bad behavior. Besides, community services sentences have a larger societal good (Tangney 567).
Tangney, June. “Condemn the Crime, Not the Person.” Trojan English News, n.d., english-news.wikispaces.com/file/view/Condemn_th_Crime_Not_the_Person.pdf Accessed Feb.19, 2017.
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