The effect of a custodial sentence and professional disqualification on reintegration
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AbstractThis study serves two purposes. First, notions of shame (Braithwaite, 1989) and labelling (Becker, 1963) are used to examine the effect of stigmatic labelling on a group of professional accountants serving custodial sentences for financial crimes. The data obtained from focus group interviews suggests that shame-related emotions have an important deterrent effect on the propensity to re-offend arising not from incarceration but from the reflexivity arising from family support and unity. Second, this paper critically evaluates the issues relating to professional reintegration in which members may be barred from practising their trade when they are released from prison. Banning members from professional membership because of their ex-convict label represents a form of exclusionary stigma that contributes to stigmatic shaming and resentment towards the institutions that impose such penalties. The role of professional associations in reintegrating former members convicted of a serious crime, and the ability to assist them to reconstruct their professional identity and develop pro-social roles, is critically evaluated.