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- Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology
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- Volume 14, Issue 3, 2001
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 14, Issue 3, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 14, Issue 3, 2001
Author J. BergSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 2 –12 (2001)More Less
Two maximum-security private prisons, otherwise known as joint-venture prisons, are being built in South Africa as a pilot project. The two sites that were chosen by the South African Department of Correctional Services are Louis Trichardt and Bloemfontein. The Bloemfontein private prison is already under construction and is destined for completion on 1 October 2001. This private prison, called Mangaung Maximum Security, is to be managed by Bloemfontein Correctional Contracts (previously known as Ikhwezi Correctional Contracts), a consortium of companies including South African companies and the European-based company Group 4 Correction Services. The Louis Trichardt prison is to be managed by SA Custodial Services, also a consortium of South African companies but ultimately consisting of the internationally known private company Wackenhut Corrections Corporation, with its main headquarters based in Florida, the United States of America (USA). Both international companies are well established and experienced in the business of corrections since they have been operational for a number of years. In fact, since about the mid-1980s the governments of a number of First World countries, most notably the USA, the United Kingdom (UK) and Australia, have all taken part in ventures with the private sector to, amongst other things, operate juvenile and adult correctional facilities. Now it seems South Africa, too, has become involved in this highly debated and controversial aspect of public-private partnerships.
Author A. Van der HovenSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 13 –25 (2001)More Less
Globally, domestic violence is a very serious social phenomenon. In South Africa, violence against women and children is widespread and on the increase. Family violence is a pervasive and frequently lethal problem that challenges society at every level. Abuse in families has a devastating effect on its victims physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Violence threatens the stability of the family and has a negative impact on all family members. It is especially true in the case of children who learn from it that violence is an acceptable way of coping with problems and gaining control over another person. Furthermore, it violates the safety, health, welfare and economies of communities as a result of medical expenses, psychological problems, and loss of productivity. It concerns governments, international communities and civil society, including non-governmental organisations and the private sector, who should address the problem urgently and effectively. This presentation will start with the definition of the term "domestic violence", followed by an indication of the incidence of domestic violence in South Africa. Subsequently, a history of the problem will be outlined, and traditions, views, perceptions and attitudes regarding domestic violence will be examined. The main discussion will deal with measures taken by the government and other agencies to control the problem. Furthermore, steps that have been successful in combating the problem, as well as organisations and programmes which have failed, will be addressed. Finally, measures taken to compensate for these failures, will be outlined. Due to the limited scope of the article, the focus will be mainly on women as victims of domestic violence.
Author W.F.M. LuytSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 26 –33 (2001)More Less
South Africa became a democracy in 1994 after fifty years of Apartheid rule during which a large part of the population had been oppressed. During Apartheid a large portion of the South African population was criminalised through the use of imprisonment. The Department of Correctional Services in South Africa formed part of the security services for many years. Driven by military custom, prisons in South Africa became warehouses for those who opposed the political regime of the time. The South African prison system was rigidly segregated. Details of segregation were specified in the Prisons Act of 1959 (Van Zyl Smit 1998:1). Examples of segregation include separate prisons for white and black inmates, different food rations, where blacks normally received smaller portions, and even different medical and housing schemes for white and black staff members (Republic of South Africa 1959). Ironically, in the face of death all inmates were equal, as black inmates awaiting execution on death row were entitled to rations on the white scale. Democracy brought about the need for transformation. This need cuts through society, but has had particular significance for government departments, which needed to facilitate the creation of a new democratic South Africa. Corrections in South Africa took up this particular challenge. Transformation in criminal justice is not easy. Correctional authorities faced a daunting task to reform the prison system in order to meet international standards.
The decision-making capacity (power) of a minor child in a divorce case : guidelines for psychological assessmentSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 34 –45 (2001)More Less
Divorce cases often develop into acrimonious affairs. When minor children are involved, custodial tugs-of-war are regular concomitants. Parents often disagree vehemently with regard to the question of whom should be awarded custody of minors. The following high-profile custody case illustrates the point.
Author J. NeserSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 46 –51 (2001)More Less
The South African Law Commission, in two of its papers (June 1997:21-22 and December 2000:2), discusses shortcomings in the sentencing process in South Africa and makes specific mention of the sentence of imprisonment, which is imposed all too often for less serious offences, while more imaginative restorative justice alternatives could give far more satisfaction to all parties involved in sentencing. In the Commission's investigation into a new sentencing framework for application in the South African Courts (South African Law Commission December 2000:xix), the approach is followed that an ideal sentencing policy should promote consistency in sentencing; reassure the community that courts approach specific categories of crime with the appropriate degree of gravity; pave the way for victim participation in the sentencing process; allow room for the development of restorative measures in sentencing; and deliver sentences that fall within the State's capacity to apply in the long term. The purpose of this article is to explore the theoretical and practical application of the principles of restorative justice in the Bill on a Sentencing Framework (referred to as "the Bill" later in the article) as proposed by the South African Law Commission, and to place it within a criminological perspective by focusing on: ?restorative justice as a principle of sentencing, the accent on victims' needs, and? restorative measures and sentencing options.
Author K. PeltzerSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 52 –56 (2001)More Less
Law enforcement is one of the professions where stress has been a special concern (Sewell 1983). There are different sources of police stress such as organisational, operational and situational stresses (Spielberger, Westberry, Grier & Greenfield 1981). This study focuses on the situational sources of police stress or critical incidents in police work. They consist of threatening, deeply depressing situations, and can entail sudden death. Examples include physical assault of a police officer, the violent death or suicide of an officer who is a close friend, or a response to a scene involving the accidental death of a child (Carlier & Gersons 1992). Research has shown that stressful or traumatic experiences in police work can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Kopel and Friedman (1997) found that among Internal Stability Unit members of the South African Police 27 (49%) met the Impact of Event Scale criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. Burgers (1994) noted that studies to determine the extent of PTSD in the South African Police Service (in 1987 among riot police in Cape Town and the Eastern Cape, and in 1988 among black police in Soweto and Pretoria) indicated that 36% of the riot police and 41% of black police suffered from PTSD. Current suicide statistics among the police force is alarming when comparing the incidence of suicide among police officials in 1991 (60 out of every 100 000) with that of the general population (5 out of every 100 000) (Nel & Burgers 1998). The literature on traumatic responses in police officers has primarily examined the effects of shooting incidents, and to date no research has investigated police officers in the environment of political and civil conflict that has characterised South Africa (Kopel & Friedman 1997). The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which current and continuous exposure to traumatic experiences contributed to traumatic stress responses.
Author N. Jacobs-Du PreezSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 57 –65 (2001)More Less
This article is based on a research project conducted by a research team of Technikon SA to analyse and describe the skills profile of correctional officials. The results from the research were used to develop a curriculum for the retraining of South African correctional officials. The curriculum now forms part of the basic training course of South African correctional officials. The aim of this article is to give the reader a broad overview of the results of the research.
Reposioning the private sector security industry in South Africa in the 21 st century - the need for professionalism of the private security practitionerAuthor K. PillaySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 66 –74 (2001)More Less
A significant mind shift is necessary if the private security industry in South Africa is to survive. Contract security providers need to increase their professionalism and should start seeing their employees as assets and a long-term investment. The aim of this paper is to elucidate the view that the private security industry in South Africa will earn respect through better training and education, which will earn its employees more responsibility that adds value in the customer's eyes. It is generally believed that a security policy should form part of the future business plans of trade and industry and is an internationally established practice to overcome the threats against profitability. Across the globe, crime remains the single largest threat and South Africa is by no means an exception to this rule. It is the author's view that security practice will only play a meaningful role if this career is to be practised as a profession, in accordance with the structural and functional requirements of trade and industry. The security services industry in South Africa primarily serves and protects the interests and assets of commerce and industry, in order to maintain profitability, economic growth and job creation, as well as to develop welfare and stability among the various communities. Professionalism of the private security industry in South Africa will benefit South African society as a whole by enhancing the security practitioner's business and financial management skills, labour relations skills, judicial and commercial knowledge and generally improving specialised security practice. Furthermore, it is the contention that in the process, practitioners will be empowered and their competencies enhanced in the field of management, labour training, strategic organisational security, the planning of asset protection strategies, security risk assessment surveys, loss control measures, industrial security and contingency planning. Given the above, the private security industry in South Africa is here to stay, and will continue to complement the South African Police Service in its efforts to combat crime.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 75 –86 (2001)More Less
The international Crime Victim Survey (ICVS) has been developed by an International Working Group of criminologists which was set up in 1987 with expertise in victim survey methodology. Research coordinators recruited in each participating country have been responsible for conducting the fieldwork in their respective countries and to date 70 countries in developed and developing countries have participated in the four sweeps.
Author S. GarkaweSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 87 –101 (2001)More Less
This article is the second of a series which analyses some of the key issues in modern victimology. The first article (Garkawe 2001) examined the importance, scope and some of the major criticisms of modern Victimology, as well as its relationship to Criminology. The main purpose of this article will be to provide the reader with an account of the three major victimological paradigms.
Author L. DavisSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 102 –113 (2001)More Less
Although vehicle hijacking is a world-wide phenomenon, it has increased to such an extent in South Africa that it is currently regarded as one of the countries with the highest hijacking figures in the world (Burke & O'Rear 1993:24; Hijackings reach horrifying level 1994:11; Live to drive 1996:16). It is estimated that in South Africa a motor vehicle is hijacked every 40 to 54 minutes. This implies that more than 25 motor vehicle drivers are victims of hijackings daily (Myerson 1995:15; Nevin 1995:48). In South Africa it has been identified as a priority crime due to the serious implications it holds for the individual in terms of the loss of property, physical injury and emotional trauma. The negative public response to motor vehicle hijacking, as well as international condemnation of it, has contributed to the South African Police Services SAPS) considering hijacking as one of the most serious crimes in South Africa. Because vehicle hijacking is the product of various factors (such as the socio-economic conditions in South Africa, the availability of firearms, crime syndicates operating in the country, good outlets, inadequate border control, corruption and the ineffectiveness of the criminal justice system to control this crime), no single theory can be used to explain why individuals fall prey to this crime. Although various criminological theories (e.g. Merton's anomie theory, Cohen's, as well as Wolfgang and Ferracuti's subculture theories, Cloward and Ohlin's differential opportunity theory, Sutherland's differential association theory, Burgess and Akers's differential reinforcement theory, Hirschi's social control theory, and the conflict theories) can be used to explain why a specific individual robs a motor vehicle, this article focuses on the rational choice perspective. Research done by Davis (1999:298) indicated that hijackers select specific targets and that they assess the difficulty, risk, opportunities and rewards associated with this crime. This research, as well as empirical information that confirms that robbers generally think carefully about the circumstances and prospects of robbery (Cook 1976; Feeney 1986; Feeney & Weir 1974; Normandeau 1986; Timrots & Rand 1987; Walsh 1986), serve as sufficient grounds for the application of the rational choice perspective on vehicle hijacking. Before explaining the theory, the historical background that led to the development of the theory is reviewed.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 114 –119 (2001)More Less
Every year numerous people become victims of crime. Whatever the crime, a large number of these people will need information, support and practical assistance. Although not all South Africans are equally exposed to danger, most South Africans fear crime (Myerson 1995:79) and people tend to react to crime differently whether being a direct victim of crime or not. Gates and Rohe (1987:441) are of the opinion that collective reactions to crime and good community relations, as well as good social control, can play an important role in victim support. There are a growing number of initiatives to empower victims of crime, both at a national and provincial level. By developing different partnerships between government, non-governmental organisations and private enterprises a diversity of resources could be utilised to empower victims not only as individuals but also as members of families and communities. Victims play an important role in crime prevention because they do not only provide critical information to the police and the court but many victims have found that through participating in community service, by helping other victims, and by initiating crime prevention as well as awareness programmes they have contributed significantly to their own healing. Therefore, it seems that if crime victims move away from their personal experiences to a broader social analysis, they aid their own recovery from the trauma of victimisation (Gates & Rohe 1987:441; Felman & Laub 1992:24).
Author J.C. MubangiziSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 120 –129 (2001)More Less
Much has been said and written on prisons and prisoners' rights. In particular, since 1994, prisoners' rights, indeed all human rights, have taken centre stage in the writings of many South African academics, criminologists, human rights lawyers and other legal commentators. Such writings have focused on the constitutional rights of prisoners and the overcrowding and congestion in our prisons today. What has attracted surprisingly little legal academic attention is the history and development of our prisons and the rights of the inmates. Apart from Dirk Van Zyl Smit's treatment of the subject in several works, few other legal writers have paid any serious attention to this area. Many perhaps think it is a matter for historians and sociologists. It has to be remembered, however, that the prison system, the police and the judiciary are all important links in the chain of the criminal justice system. A full understanding of each of these functionaries is important for a proper appraisal of the whole system. The purpose of this article therefore is to analyse the historical development of prisons and prisoners' rights, not only in South Africa but beyond, if for no other reason, at least as a point of departure for further research and debate. To that end, the article first analyses the justification and rationale for imprisonment and then discusses the origin and history of prisons and prisoners' rights with the focus on South Africa.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 14, pp 130 –148 (2001)More Less
According to the Time Magazine if a person wanders in Brixton , south of London, several guys might offer to sell him marijuana within five minutes and this is the case across most of the European continent. The case of Cedric, an 18-year-old Swiss student is mentioned who smokes dope regularly with his friends on trains, in the streets and parks of Geneva, even during high school recess under the pretext that the teachers know about it.