n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Multidimensional assessment, risk profiling and sentence planning in correctional services

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Criminality is perceived to be a by-product of social and personal conditioning. Individuals who commit crime are mostly people who have been unduly exposed to and influenced by adverse social and personal conditions that lead to criminal behaviour and actions - eventually bringing them into conflict with the law. However, once the cause of criminality is removed, or dealt with through rehabilitation or treatment, criminal behaviour can be eliminated (Alleman & Gido 1998:22; Holtzhausen 2003:22).

Reductions in reoffending are to be found through the design and delivery of intervention services (eg offender assessment, therapeutic intervention), under conditions considered legal, ethical, just, efficient, decent, efficient and normative (Andrews 2001:10). Any intervention should target criminogenic needs, and therapists and service providers should consider offenders' learning styles and characteristics, to match offenders' and therapists' styles (Serin & Kennedy 1997:3).
Custodial interventions require inventions that focus on areas of potential development, in need of improvement and reducing offence behaviour. This is a relevant goal in offender development (Toch 2002:121). Effective corrections require meaningful intervention that entails inter alia, a multidisciplinary offender assessment system (risk/needs assessment), scientific-based rehabilitation programmes, individualised treatment and individualised sentence planning of offenders.


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