Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fugitive Safe Surrender; Shame and Guilt

Today's Weekend America had a story about the program sponsored by the Justice Department that gives people with outstanding warrants an opportunity to surrender, generally at churches. A Fugitive Safe Haven, Sept. 22, 2007. I posted a link to a New York Times article on the same program this summer (earlier post). The radio program adds the personal touch of an interview with two people who turned themselves in.

I was also interested in the radio interview with Prof. June Price Tangney, a clinical psychologist at George Mason University who has studied "moral emotions" -- principally shame and guilt -- including in the context of the justice system. I looked up her publications, and found this one that might interest Trial Ad Note readers:

Working at the Social-Clinical-Community-Criminology Interface: The George Mason University inmate study. [References].
Tangney, June Price; Mashek, Debra; Stuewig, Jeffrey.
E-Mail Address Tangney, June Price:
Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology. Vol 26(1) Jan 2007, 1-21.
This article describes our attempt to import social-personality theory and research on moral emotions and moral cognitions to applied problems of crime, substance abuse, and HIV risk behavior. Thus far, in an inmate sample, we have evidence that criminogenic beliefs and proneness to guilt are each predictive of re-offense after release from jail. In addition, we have evidence that jail programs and services may reduce criminogenic beliefs and enhance adaptive feelings of guilt. As our sample size increases, our next step is to test the full mediational model, examining the degree to which programs and services impact post-release desistance via their effect on moral emotions and cognitions. In addition to highlighting some of the key findings from our longitudinal study of jail inmates over the period of incarceration and post-release, we describe the origins and development of this interdisciplinary project, highlighting the challenges and rewards of such endeavors.

(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).

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