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- Volume 17, Issue 1, 2004
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 17, Issue 1, 2004
Volumes & issues
Volume 17, Issue 1, 2004
Author A. Hesselink-LouwSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp I –IV (2004)More Less
The Draft White Paper on Corrections in South Africa (hereafter referred to as DWPCS) is a well-structured document which, for the first time, embodies the vision of the current leadership of the Department in respect of the Correctional System for South Africa (Group 4 Global Solutions 2004:3). The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is driven to take their vision forward and has already begun reorganising in order to align itself with this vision (even before the White Paper has been approved).
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 1 –16 (2004)More Less
Police culture is a topic that has received its fair share of attention and scrutiny. The official policing institution in South Africa, the (former) South African Police (Force) (SAP), which was eventually renamed as the South African Police Service (SAPS), posed a specific topic of interest in the recent past and specifically so during the periods of transition and democratisation. South Africa's apartheid legacy (racial segregation and oppression) made the situation in South Africa exceptional in terms of the South African Police's instrumentality in enforcing apartheid laws.
Even when the ideal of a democratic dispensation was already vigorously pursued, "the dominant ethos within the police force was believed to have remained traditionalist, conservative, and resistant to change". According to this view, the South African Police, remained a "colonial" police force while the culture of the South African Police was believed to be unique and irreconcilable with a more universal conception of police culture(s).
It is common case that the dominant South African historical context of colonialism remains British imperialism. The underlying assumption, therefore, is that the public police services of England and Wales "reformed" themselves, or were never police forces comparable to those policing the British colonies.
Contrary to the abovementioned views it transpired that even in liberal democracies police officers are working in a culture that many ordinary citizens would find oppressive, violent and depressing.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 17 –23 (2004)More Less
Like all victims of crime, individuals who fall victim to child sexual abuse are often expected to participate in the criminal justice system. The court experience in particular can be very traumatic since children have to relate the factual occurrences of their victimisation over and over and are often exposed to harsh cross-examination. When asking children to participate in a system specifically designed for adults, necessities such as court support and court preparation offer an opportunity to empower a victim to deliver the best possible testimony and prevent secondary victimisation. For the purposes of this article a qualitative pilot study was initiated to determine the experiences of individuals involved in court support and court preparation. Respondents were asked to comment on the differences between court support and preparation, as well as the problems experienced with child testimonies and how such issues were addressed through the preparation and support.
Findings highlighted a need for court support as well as court preparation to be implemented in all courts dealing with child victims. The distinction between court support and court preparation was also emphasised, because although both should be present, they none the less are separate and different entities. Numerous challenges ranging from logistical alternatives to legal changes within the legislation were offered as limitations. Necessary changes that could ensure the smooth running and implementation of support and preparation in all courts, and thus develop a better prepared victim in the court room, were also suggested.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 24 –33 (2004)More Less
Development and education programmes in prisons and those outside prisons should be in relation to each other with regard to curriculation and methods of assessment. This article will explore how education is addressed within the prison environment. There is also a difference between curriculation for adult training and school training which forms part of the discussion in the article.
Basic teaching in prisons can form the basis for the continuation of certified courses that are developed for offenders, giving them the chance to achieve formal qualifications of the same standard as the courses available in the community. It is also aimed at obtaining a qualification, whether this takes place immediately or after secondary studies.
Holistically spoken, career guidance and educational efforts inside prisons are not always aligned. In some cases this alignment is according to traditional labour needs and practices. As a result of minimum consultation about career guidance courses and their contents, the contents are decided by the availability of resources or instructors rather than what is applicable to the labour market. Results showed that current trades such as shoe-making, carpet weaving and bicycle repairs do not fall under the offenders' areas of interests. Their interests are more in the line of modern technology such as television repairs, motor mechanics and electrics. It is therefore clear that the teaching programmes for employment that are to be developed in a prison must strike a balance between the skills required in the labour market and the offender's interests. Ownership of teaching programmes is of paramount importance in working with adults, as adults are inclined to work independently and at different pace. These aspects should always be kept in mind when programmes for offenders are being curriculated.
Self-reported speeding intention and expected consequences of speeding among South African drivers : an exploratory studySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 34 –41 (2004)More Less
One hundred black and 100 white male and female drivers from the Northern Province of the Republic of South Africa were interviewed in order to assess their intention to speed during the ensuing 12 months under eight different traffic conditions on a five-point Likert scale.
They also rated on similar scales possible negative consequences of speeding with regard to their probability. The highest speeding intention was found for a highway, and the lowest one for a busy shopping street. Expected negative consequences for each situation were related inversely to speeding intention but the negative correlations were low. Principal component analysis with varimax rotation revealed that speeding intention was independent of different traffic conditions and constituted a dimension of its own, whereas expected negative consequences of different traffic situations constituted the other five factors.
It is concluded that speeding must be seen as a generalised behaviour which is independent from specific situations and perceived consequences. Thus, road safety campaigns that emphasise such consequences are expected to be ineffective and instead enhanced police action is recommended as a countermeasure against speeding.
The relationship between the South African Police Service and the private security industry : any role for outsourcing in the prevention of crime?Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 42 –65 (2004)More Less
The aim of this article is to outline the relationship between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the private security industry and the role which both play in the prevention of crime. The role of the private security industry, however, is and should be one which can be complementary to that of the public police and not a replacement or substitution of the latter. The continued infiltration of private security into public policing roles has led the SAPS to change and outsource some of its operational functions. As a result the SAPS has allocated, or rather outsourced, certain functions such as the guarding duties at various police stations, to private security companies. There has also been other replacement of policing functions, often more by default than design, such as armed response to burglar alarms, or the patrolling of secured or gated neighbourhoods (i.e. as a visible policing deterrent etcetera).
The public police are granted specific powers that are - theoretically - used within the context of their accountability to the public. However, in South Africa the private security industry does not have powers beyond those of ordinary citizens and those powers delegated under private property legislation to them by the owners of the private or public/private property, i.e. they are only accountable to the client they are securing or guarding.
This article also examines the attempts by the SAPS (with the Department of Safety and Security as the lead or control department) to better regulate the South African private security industry as a whole by means of revising and tightening up the legislation dealing with the industry. The article furthermore discusses aspects of regulating the industry, inter alia, including some of the policing functions that have been outsourced to them, and looks at ways to optimise such partnership policing and formalise its role in crime prevention.
Author W. CoetzeeSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 66 –77 (2004)More Less
The efficient functioning of the South African Department of Correctional Services is jeopardised by serious operational problems, which are natural outcomes of the rising South African prison population. All these negative factors contribute largely to corrections being a highly demanding working environment. It negatively affects correction officers physically, mentally and emotionally to almost unmanageable limits.
The question arises: What could be done to ensure that correction officers are more competent in their day-today functioning? The conclusion: They need to enhance their Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which will enable them to bring people together, build them up, and motivate them to do their best. In other words, what the Department of Correctional Services needs is men and women with traits that mark emotional intelligence, are poised and outgoing, committed to people and causes, empathetic and caring, with a rich but appropriate emotional life - they're comfortable with themselves, others, and the society they live in.
It is suggested that correctional staff should be more aware of their emotions and know how to manage them wisely. What they need is a broad spectrum of individual skills, usually referred to as soft skills or inter and intra-personal skills and fall outside the traditional areas of specific knowledge, general intelligence, managerial, technical or professional skills, namely emotional intelligence.
It is also accepted that emotional intelligence involves abilities that may be categorised into five domains, namely self-awareness, emotional maturity, self-motivation, empathic understanding and quality communication. To serve the purpose of managing emotions in a correctional environment these domains were discussed in more detail. It is recommend that the mentioned domains of emotional intelligence should be taught in corrections. In other words, emotional intelligence should form an integral part of the training curriculum of correction officers.
Author A. GouwsSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 78 –89 (2004)More Less
This article analyses the empirical relationship between crime and legitimacy. Using data obtained from a sample of 3 258 South Africans involved in an empirical study conducted in 1997, the author attempts to assess the impact of crime on political legitimacy. Legitimacy is operationalised as specific support (support for political authorities) and diffuse support (the reservoir of goodwill citizens have toward their government, measured here as compliance with the law).
The findings indicate that perceptions of crime is not based on personal experience with crime but rather on popular knowledge. Surprisingly, the findings show that whites are more positive toward the police than the other race groups. Furthermore there is no universal support for the rule of law although attitudes differ across race groups. Africans show a much higher level of confidence in the legal system as compared to whites and Indians, while whites and coloureds support greater powers for the police to deal with crime.
With regard to the relationship between crime and legitimacy, the findings show a high correlation between perceptions of policing and specific support for the police, but a low correlation between perceptions of policing and compliance. Crime has a greater impact on specific support than on diffuse support which may affect legitimacy negatively. Low levels of legitimacy threaten the consolidation of democracy.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 90 –102 (2004)More Less
Corruption is not a new phenomenon. It has been around since the dawn of time. Tanzi explains that two thousand years ago, Kautilya, the prime minister of an Indian King, wrote a book entitled Arthashastru, in which he discussed corruption. Dante expressed the medieval antagonism towards corruption by placing bribers in the "deepest parts of Hell". The American Constitution names corruption as one of two definite crimes that can lead to the impeachment of the President. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the international interest in corruption has been unprecedented.
This article deals with corruption as it occurs in the public sector, focusing on the various definitions of corruption including general definitions of corruption, the moral definition of corruption, petty and grand corruption and the public office definition. The latter was the main definition of corruption used from the 1960s to the 1980s, and it is considered to be a legally derived approach to corruption.
Greed appears to be an overwhelming cause for corrupt behaviour. In South Africa, civil servants and public officials are considered well paid when compared with other developing countries. There is no need for committing corrupt acts. In some public professions such as the police service, lower ranks particularly are not well remunerated and this certainly contributes to corrupt behaviour. When comparing the causes of corruption between civil servants/officials and lower paid public servants, a greed versus need dichotomy arises. Other risk factors that contribute towards the aetiology of corruption such as the quality of the bureaucracy, excessive administrative secrecy and the politicisation of the public service will be discussed.
Negative practices such as patronage, nepotism, bribery, ghosting, bid-rigging, graft, kick-backs and conflicts of interest all contribute to the sizeable corruption problem South Africa appears to be experiencing at present. Examples of specific corrupt practices and at which tiers/departments of government they occur, are revealed. Some recommendations are made which, if implemented, would contribute towards finding a solution for this scourge.
Author L. HoltzhausenSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 103 –114 (2004)More Less
The effective social worker needs to have the most inclusive educational preparation possible: both a broad generalist base of knowledge, skills and values and in-depth proficiency in practice, the conscious use of self with selected social work methods and specific populations (Derezotes, 2000: 5).
For the correctional social worker this implies the development of a greater in-depth understanding of how to apply the best combinations of approaches to a very specific and diverse population, namely the offender within the correctional environment. Although social work's unique focus is on the interrelationship between the individual and the environment, the correctional social work practitioner needs more than just generalist knowledge, skills and values to operate in the harsh world of corrections with its increasing and complex problems.
Social workers employed in a correctional setting must have the ability to perform in diverse contexts and with offenders from diverse backgrounds, sentences, dispositions and needs. This implies the ability to understand, assess, make choices and plan appropriate intervention by utilising and combining knowledge and experience (Vass 1996: 195).
This article covers literature on the core social work knowledge required in working with the offender in the field of corrections.
Author M. Van ZylSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 115 –120 (2004)More Less
According to the South African Police Bureau for Missing Persons on average, between 1 400 and 1 700 children under the age of 18 go missing every year in South Africa. Although the success rate in finding these children is high at an average of about 88 percent, the physical and emotional impact on parents and families who have to deal with the issue of a missing child is devastating. The police service is usually the first institution dealing with the parents and relatives of a missing child. As the first point of contact with the criminal justice system, the police play an important role in shaping the victim's experience.
The objective of this study was to reveal the victim support that the South African Police Service is rendering to the parents/guardians of missing children. The research revealed various problems in the police dealing with cases of missing children. It became evident that the police in some incidents do not regard a missing child as serious. It was clearly illustrated by the fact that 40 percent of the respondents experienced difficulties to convince the police to register their cases. To a great extent the police seriously neglect to provide basic information to the respondents such as information on the case reference number, the details of a contact person, information on the procedures that they are going to follow and information on the progress of the case.
The right to information is some of the basic rights of any victim and is clearly stated in the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power. The research portrayed the respondent's expectations and suggestions with regard to victim support and recommendations were made to address their needs.
Private security officers as victims of trauma and stress : the South African experience and initiatives to manage itSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 121 –128 (2004)More Less
Worldwide the private security industry is showing exceptional growth. As perceptions of levels of crime worsen, people and organisations are making increasing use of private forms of security to protect themselves and their possessions. The strategic importance of the private security industry from a safety and security perspective is self-evident. Considerable trust is placed by clients in an industry which has more resources available than the public police service, and South Africa is by no means exempted from this.
Notwithstanding this phenomenal growth globally, the private security industry in South Africa is now faced with new challenges as levels of crime increase and criminal activity becomes more sophisticated. Criminals are acting with impunity and more private security officers are becoming the victims and targets of such wanton violence.
This paper seeks to elucidate the view that the private security officers, especially those involved in armed guarding and the movement of cash, are subjected to enormous amounts of stress in the line of their daily working conditions.
Consequently this manifests itself in the high levels of stress experienced as a result of the fact that these officers are increasingly becoming victims of cash-in-transit heists, armed robbery and violent shoot-outs.
From the research that was undertaken the authors will :
- share real-life case studies on the nature and incidence of attacks on armed guards,
- elaborate on some of the factors which contribute to the victim's stress, and
- look at some initiatives undertaken from a practitioner level, to manage victims of stress in the private security industry.
Author D. SinghSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 129 –138 (2004)More Less
Whilst one would not expect the incidence of male rape to approach that of female rape in our society, the finding is that it is not so rare an event as would appear from the reported incidents. Unfortunately, the underreporting of the crime supports the general acknowledgement as established fact that rape is almost exclusively a crime against women and children.
This is extremely unfortunate, as the effects of male rape are manifold and far-reaching.
- Male victims make it clear that the rape on its own is stressful. This strain is then exacerbated by the scepticism of family members, peers, police and the judicial system.
- Rape is commonly misconstrued to be a sexually motivated crime and it is assumed that males are unlikely targets of such victimisation. That he was a victim is sometimes linked to questions being raised around the victim's own sexual orientation.
- It not uncommon for a victim of a rape to ejaculate during the assault. In misidentifying ejaculation with orgasm, the victim is often discouraged from reporting the assault for fear that his sexuality may become suspect.
- Further disruption in the male victim's lifestyle has been evidenced by eating and sleeping disorders, psychological reactions, drug and/or alcohol abuse, social reactions, and sexual changes.
- Finally, there is the reality of rape trauma syndrome symptoms.
Other international jurisdictions have already introduced similar legislation.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 17, pp 139 –153 (2004)More Less
Peer victimisation, more commonly referred to as bullying, comprises of intentional and repeated acts, words, or other hurtful behaviour and/or systematic harassment within the school context where it is directed by children against each other. This phenomenon seems to coincide with a general increase in school violence as well as more serious incidents of violence and is, therefore, a cause for concern.
This article explores the experiences of safety and happiness (quality of life) of a non-probability sampled research population of public school learners in Tshwane South. The participants also shared their observations and experiences of bullying with respect to the frequency, nature and location where bullying occurred, as well as the characteristics of bullies.
The findings of this study confirmed that bullying in the delimited research area is indeed a reality in the daily lives of the majority of the research participants. While most respondents observed mainly milder forms of peer victimisation on a frequent basis, nearly 18% reported more serious forms of victimisation (threatened with harm), followed by a further 26% respondents who observed physical bullying on a daily basis.
Furthermore, the research findings raise questions about the general feelings of safety and happiness of a significant proportion of the research group while attending their schools. Although not consistently and not without a certain tension between them, variables such as gender, age and population group emerged as critical factors in these experiences and as part of the social context and its influence in the lives of the participants.