- A-Z Publications
- Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology
- Previous Issues
- Volume 18, Issue 3, 2005
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 18, Issue 3, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 18, Issue 3, 2005
Author Brian F. KingshottSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp I –III (2005)More Less
The threat was always there but in July 2005 the threat became an unlawful action against innocent victims without regard for race, religion or creed. Terrorism, justified under perverted Islamic religious interpretation, brought death and injury to the streets of London. The sense of inevitability does not mitigate the shock and outrage that echoes across the world. In modern day terrorism the perverse point of terrorism is to spread fear by attacking the innocent and assaulting society's sense of humanity.
Author J. PrinslooSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 1 –19 (2005)More Less
There is great uncertainty about when and under what circumstances there is a need for a presentence report prior to the sentencing of a young offender. To clear up this confusion, various judgements have addressed the matter. It emerged as a general rule that presentencing reports 'should' be obtained for all offenders under the age of 18 years. However, a court is obliged to obtain a presentence report if a young offender under the age of 18 years:
- has committed a serious offence, or
- has previous convictions, or
- when a sentence of imprisonment, including suspended imprisonment, is about to be imposed.
The author argues that such a strategy makes no operational sense from a proactive point of view, while certain anomalies cast doubt on the instrumentality of such a practice. International juvenile justice instruments aim at the prevention of crime through the proper socialisation of children as an integral part of the administration of juvenile justice. This cannot be achieved without a proper presentence investigation that takes into account the totality of a child's offending behaviour as well as the interactional circumstances in which it took place.
Author C.J. MorrisonSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 20 –28 (2005)More Less
The problems that women experience in the policing environment relate to the fact that policing has traditionally been a male-dominated function with the accent on strength and militarism. Consequently, as more women became police officers this male-dominated environment created barriers against women essentially as a protective mechanism but also as a result of the basic differences between men and women. This has resulted in sexual harassment, power struggles and the re-definition of the roles of women as based upon the South African Constitution (1996) and the success of women in their roles as police officers.
A literature review was conducted and it is evident that gender discrimination in the police exists worldwide. Various barriers to the promotion of women were identified, such as stereotyping of women (and men), unequal remuneration, bias against women and perceptions of incompetence. Women are also victimised in the workplace by the use of raunchy language of some of the male police officers as well as the ignorance on the part of their supervisors on their role as homemakers after working hours.
Some progress, however, has been made towards limiting the incidence of discrimination, and more women are entering the male-dominant domain of policing. Even though male police officers may initially dislike the presence of women in the job situation, there are potential benefits not only for policewomen but also for members of society due to the unique abilities of women. Female police officers should be seen as part of the human resource component of the SAPS, because they are competent, knowledgeable and dedicated. Their approach to policing also provides new options, such as a concern for the victims of rape and child abuse victims, options which were not as readily available when policing was done mostly by men.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 29 –42 (2005)More Less
Eyewitness testimony is often the most influential evidence that can be introduced during legal proceedings. However, it is equally true that numerous variables can influence the witnesses' ability to accurately identify persons, remember events and provide reliable testimony. It is therefore of the utmost importance that experts working in the crime and legal arena should always be well informed about new research and changing views in this field. This is the second of a two-article series, the first focusing on estimator variables (Acta Criminologica, 18, 2005, pp 21-39). In this second article a review of the latest viewpoints and research concerning system variables will be discussed. System variables refer to factors which have the potential to influence witness accuracy between the first contact with law enforcement and the final testimony in court. Although it seems that system variables have received less research attention than estimator variables, it is also accepted that they could have a significant influence on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony.
Author D. SinghSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 43 –50 (2005)More Less
In reviewing the response of South African communities to crime, one is struck by the two contradictory reactions - on the one hand, there is adherence to the formal structures of the criminal justice system, whilst on the other, communities are taking it upon themselves to mete out justice for crimes committed. Reports indicate that practices of community justice are especially prevalent amongst the poorer black communities of South Africa and are often a response predicated on a fundamental mistrust of the police and a belief that state policing has failed the community. Proponents of community justice argue that poor service delivery, weaknesses with the criminal justice system and processes and police corruption are key factors causing people to support community justice and vigilante activities (see http://www.iss.co.za/CJM/SpecialInterest/Vigilantism.html). In short, the resort to community justice is symptomatic of the state's evident incapacity to secure the people and the people's rights.
On the other hand, whilst it is understandable for all people to wish to protect themselves, the question that one must answer is whether community justice and vigilante activity help or hinder the maintenance of law and order. South Africa is a constitutional democracy, striving to uphold the principles of natural justice, due process, and the rule of law. In her paper presented at the 22nd Law and Society Conference in Brisbane, Singh (2004) posed the question: 'For how long can a country sustain such blatant disregard for the rule of law before sliding into lawlessness and anarchy?' However, a more apposite enquiry might have been: 'Is there any manner of developing a synergy between the traditional practices of the criminal justice system and community justice?' In its conclusion, this paper responds briefly to the question, considering specifically the option of restorative justice and its place in creating a synergy between community justice and the current formal state processes.
Fighting gangsterism in South Africa : a contextual review of gang and anti-gang movements in the Western CapeSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 51 –60 (2005)More Less
Gangsterism is a major contributor to crime in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The coloured communities from the townships around the greater Cape Town region, which are known as the Cape Flats, are the most severely affected. Gang movements started with the relocation of predominantly coloured, but also African, families from the inner city areas to the Cape Flats in the 1970s. The gangs flourished in the newly established residential areas where poor socio-economic living conditions prevailed and where social control over children and youth was absent. Several successful community initiatives were launched in this period to counter the growth of gangs in the townships. However, all these responses dissipated with the enforcement of state control in the townships as well as the imprisonment of youth political activists during the peak of the struggle in the late 1970s and 1980s. In the absence of organised community responses, gang activities flourished in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with disillusioned youth opting to take up gang membership in prisons and reformatory schools. From the mid-1990s various attempts were made by the community and State to counter gang activities. Most of these activities though focused on curbing crime, and did not take into account the psychosocial needs of youth at risk that may have drawn them to become gang members.
Author J. NeserSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 61 –81 (2005)More Less
This article explores the experiences of safety of a non-probability sampled research population of public school learners in Tshwane South. Results reveal that about seventy percent (70.8%) of the learners felt safe at school, while nearly one third (29.2%) felt unsafe at school. Male respondents, learners in the older age group and in the more senior grades felt more unsafe in the school situation. The findings about the observation of school violence indicate that learners in the Feel Unsafe group observed much more verbal aggression on a regular basis in the school environment than learners in the Feel Safe group. The group who feel unsafe in the school environment also had considerably more experience of being the victims of physical aggression or being threatened with physical violence, in the form of hitting, kicking and pushing and being threatened with harm.
The findings of the study indicate that the following characteristics can be ascribed to a typical learner in the sample who feels unsafe in the school situation:
- demographic characteristics: learner is male, over 14 years old and in the more senior grades (Grades 9 and 10)
- observation of school violence: learner regularly observes verbal and physical aggression in the school situation
- experience of school violence: learner has a lot of experience of physical aggression and threats of physical violence
- school adjustment: learner experiences a considerably high incidence of loneliness, social dissatisfaction, disliking school and school avoidance
- interpersonal relationships: learner is socially isolated, less willing to support friends, has a relatively small circle of friends and finds it difficult to make new friends
- behavioural adjustment: learner will probably tend to have low self-esteem, be more prone to depression, more easily experience higher levels of anxiety and exercise less selfrestraint.
Author J. SteynSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 82 –100 (2005)More Less
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, demands a fundamental reassessment and transformation of the nature and style of policing in South Africa from denying the human rights of the majority of South Africans during the "apartheid era" to gaining the trust and respect of all. This includes changing the basic assumptions of the individual police officer with regards to the organisation and its environment. Based on a representative sample (N=1460) of new recruits in the South African Police Service, this article evaluates attitudes of new recruits into the Service with respect to their support of this new ideology. The researcher found that among these recruits a larger percentage may have already developed attitudes regarding the relationship between the police and their communities that mitigate against the effective adoption of a community policing philosophy in South Africa.
A model for Community Corrections Residential Centres in South Africa from a social work perspectiveSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 101 –110 (2005)More Less
In South Africa, one of the most frequently discussed subjects is that pertaining to crime and the devastating effect it has on all South Africans in general. Solving crime cannot be the sole responsibility of the state, the police, the courts or the criminal justice system, but should include the community as an important roleplayer in reporting and preventing crime, whilst taking co-responsibility for the rehabilitation and reintegration of the offender into society. This article discusses various alternative forms of sentencing in a community context with a view to developing a model for community corrections residential centres (CCRCs) in South Africa.
The proposed CCRC model for South Africa is based on an integration of the reintegration and diversion models of community corrections. Two sub-models of the reintegration model, i.e. the pre-release and the parole-violator models, and one sub-model of the diversion model, the court-based model, constitute the proposed CCRC model for South Africa. These models are relevant in South Africa since the prerelease and parole-violator models both make provision for offenders to take part in specialised programmes at CCRCs, whilst the court-based diversion model is relevant because of its more formal nature which allows for better control and monitoring of offenders.
The successful implementation of CCRCs relies on partnerships between the public and private sectors, with the Department of Corrections taking primary responsibility for the monitoring of community corrections. It is recommended that the proposed model for CCRCs in South Africa should be adopted by policy makers and politicians and be implemented according to a plan that provides for a gradual phasing in of the model in an integrated manner. In order to succeed, the outlined challenges must first be met.
Justice Gained? Crime & Crime Control in South Africa's transition, B. Dixon and E. van der Spuy : book reviewAuthor C.M.B. NaudeSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 111 –114 (2005)More Less
Dixon and his colleagues' reply to my review of their book warrants a brief response. In the introduction to the book Justice Gained? Crime and Crime Control in South Africa's Transition, edited by Dixon and van der Spuy, the 'three main purposes' of the 'volume' (my emphasis) is set out by Dixon (2004:x).