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- Volume 19, Issue 1, 2006
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 19, Issue 1, 2006
Volumes & issues
Volume 19, Issue 1, 2006
Author Peter J.P. TakSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp I –VI (2006)More Less
Until recently it was rather difficult and demanding to study the various roles of the prosecution service in the Member States of the European Union (EU) from a comparative perspective. In a number of publications on the prosecution service in individual Member States the attention focused on the evolution of certain roles over the past few years, but a proper comparison covering all EU Member States was hardly possible due to the lack of up to date information.
An analysis of robbery in Johannesburg, South Africa : results of the Fourth International Crime Victim SurveyAuthor J. PrinslooSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 1 –18 (2006)More Less
Awareness of the scope and dimensions of crime informs more effective responses to crime. In South Africa, crime rates generally started to decrease with the exception of the robbery rate. Despite certain limitations the international crime victim survey (ICVS) remains a credible source of more detailed information pertaining to conventional crime such as robbery. South Africa recently participated for the fourth time in the International Crime (Victim) Survey (ICVS) when the ICVS data collection and measuring questionnaire was successfully administered to 1 501 research subjects in Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa and a volatile crime area. Because robbery is prominent in the area, an analysis of the incidence and nature of robbery as measured by the ICVS was conducted.
The attitude, level of knowledge and perceptions of learners regarding crime in society : the Thusa Bana studySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 19 –32 (2006)More Less
This report is based on a multidisciplinary study called THUSA BANA (help to children in Tswana) which was undertaken by the Faculty of Health Sciences of the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education. The team was comprised of members drawn from the departments of Social Work, Psychology, Nutrition, Consumer Science, Physiology and Human Movement Science. The study follows up on THUSA (Transition, Health and Urbanisation in South Africa study) where the focus was on the effect of urbanisation on the general health status of the African population. This study took place amongst a representative number of learners between the ages of 10 and 15 in the North West Province regarding their bio-psychosocial well-being. This article reports on a section of the study, namely the Social Work response to the attitude, knowledge base and perceptions of participants regarding crime. A number of recommendations were made with regard to aspects such as the improvement of the general image and functioning of the police service, the availability of psycho-social counselling to victims of crime, strategies to uplift the moral standards and values of the population and the involvement of all community members in the prevention of crime.
Author S.J. CollingsSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 33 –41 (2006)More Less
Legal and popular understanding of the extent and nature of child sexual abuse disclosure tend to reflect outdated and unfounded assumptions regarding the way in which sexually abused children are likely to behave in the aftermath of abuse: first, an assumption that disclosure in child sexual abuse is normative; second, an assumption that CSA victims tend to disclose without undue delay; and third, an assumption that CSA disclosure tends to be purposeful. In an attempt to provide clarity on the issue, this paper reviews available literature on child sexual abuse disclosure in an attempt to provide answers to three fundamental questions: "Do child sexual abuse victims disclose their abuse?", "What is the latency of sexual abuse disclosure?", and "Do abused victims disclose purposefully?" The review of literature indicates that: (a) non-disclosure in child sexual abuse is the norm with only 8% of child sexual abuse cases being reported to the authorities, (b) the majority of child sexual abuse disclosures (58%) take place more than a year after the abuse, and (c) purposeful disclosure in child sexual abuse is the exception rather than the norm, with up to 75% of disclosures tending to be vague, ambiguous, and/or lacking in detail regarding specifics of the abuse incident. These findings not only provide an informed basis for those concerned to adopt an evidence-based approach to practice but also pose a clear challenge to those professionals who continue to base their decision-making regarding sexually abused children on outdated and unfounded assumptions regarding the nature and scope of the disclosure process.
The struggle to legislate for stricter gun control measures and the South African Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000Author A. MinnaarSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 42 –56 (2006)More Less
Although it had been a stated intention of the new government as early as June 1994 to deal with the proliferation of firearms in the country, particularly illegal firearms, a number of issues delayed the implementation of this intention. This article traces this struggle to legislate for stricter gun control measures, a process which essentially turned out to be a lengthy and often acrimonious period of public consultation and debate. Although this culminated in the new Firearms Control Act 60 of 2000 being passed in Parliament in October 2000 and assented to and passed into law by the President on 4 April 2001, this was not the end of the legislative process as it took almost another four years for the supporting regulations to be finalised. These eventually came into effect on 1 July 2004. The resulting Act and Regulations were, to a certain extent, a piece of legislation where concessions and compromises from both sides of the so-called "gun debate" (pro-gun lobby and gun-control activists) were made. However, the consensus of opinion from legislators and observers was that the Act, in fact, was one containing stricter gun control measures than many similar pieces of legislation elsewhere in the world.
Author C. BezuidenhoutSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 57 –76 (2006)More Less
David Garland insists that first-world governments have lost their sovereign power to control the high crime rates in late modernity. They have, however, devised strategies to cope with and to adapt to their limitations in controlling crime. He postulates that these governments employ a "culture of control" strategy to regain the support and trust of the citizenry. By combining culture and crisis, he explains how popular culture adjusted to the crime crisis and how governments have become more punitive towards offenders. Garland believes that the adoption of a more punitive strategy caused incarceration rates to grow unabatedly since the 1970s. However, Garland fail to recognise the impact of technology on the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Technology has contributed to more offenders being apprehended and processed through the CJS since the 1970s. Increasing crime rates and the rise in incarceration rates could thus, to a large extent, be linked to the technology explosion after 1970 and not necessarily to punitive governments.
"Justice at a snail's pace" : the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (Act 116 of 1998) at the Johannesburg Family CourtAuthor K. NaidooSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 77 –88 (2006)More Less
The article focuses on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (Act 116 of 1998) at the Johannesburg Family Court for the period March to December 2004 by examining a sample of case files. The author examines who the parties are to an application for a protection order, the type of conduct complained of in the application, the appearance of the parties in court, the duration of the process and the type of relief granted by the court. In conclusion the author makes a number of recommendations that law and policy makers should take cognisance of.
Self-directed violence : a multidisciplinary approach to the prevention and management of adolescent suicidal behaviourSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 89 –101 (2006)More Less
This paper is part of an ongoing research project on suicide. It aims to stimulate collaboration among different disciplines, academics and professions in the study of violence in general and adolescent violence in particular in South Africa. As point of departure, this paper reviewed the literature on adolescent suicide in order to explore the possible collaboration between criminology and social work and prevention of adolescent suicide in the study. From the literature review suicide was identified as self-directed violence and a category of violence in general. The authors continued by adapting a criminological approach to the explanation and prevention of violence. They were also able to adopt a social work approach for the management of the after-math of attempted and completed suicide on the direct and indirect victims.
Diversion as an option for certain offenders : the view of programme participants diverted during the Hatfield Court Pilot ProjectSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 102 –114 (2006)More Less
Diversion programmes have been instituted to channel certain offenders, especially young people in conflict with the law, away from the criminal justice system on certain conditions (as stipulated in the Child Justice Bill). The main objective is to prevent these individuals from entering deeper into the criminal justice process by reinforcing their respect for human rights and the fundamental freedom of others and by holding them accountable for their actions. As part of a broader research project focusing on the effectiveness of the Hatfield Offence Court (which was opened in April 2004), an investigation was done with regard to diversion as a punishment option for certain crimes in the Hatfield area. Telephonic interviews were conducted with 40 youths, who had been in conflict with the law and who have been diverted by the Hatfield Court, in order to determine their views on the diversion programmes that they had participated in as well as the personal value thereof. The feedback received was of a positive nature and most of the research participants verbalised a positive personal change after participating in the programmes. Since this study was of an exploratory nature, a large-scale study (in which the utilisation of other measuring instruments should be explored) is recommended.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 115 –126 (2006)More Less
The focus in this article is victims of farm and smallholding attacks in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. The study analysed the Crime Information Analysis Centre statistics, and empirically investigated, in 2004, the perceptions of 105 of a total of 527 victims of such attacks, which had occurred between 1997 and 2002. Of the 527 victims, 57 were murdered. The average victim was white and 51, 19 years old. Gender differences were minimal, and all races were represented, which supported previous findings that, although whites dominated farm ownership, all race and ethnic groups were potential victims. Statements from suspects indicated that the majority lived, worked, or had strong family ties living close to the targets selected. Of the eight police areas in the Eastern Cape, most attacks occurred in the East London area, and the fewest in Umtata. Such attacks were mainly committed outside the victim's residence. The telephonic interviews revealed that, although attacks were multi-causal, the victims perceived crime, namely robbery, as the primary cause. The majority also regarded farms as being soft targets. Resistance by victims had varied responses. The results question the police's advice not to show resistance, because in many cases such resistance contributed positively to the results of the attack. This was substantiated by 69, 69 percent of respondent who reported that their resistance positively contributed to the flow of events.
Author M. OvensSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 19, pp 127 –136 (2006)More Less
This paper explores the various functions that the criminologist can fulfil within the criminal justice system. Presently criminologists are not employed as professionals within the South African criminal justice system. Inputs are made on a voluntary basis or when functionaries call on the expertise of the criminologist. A call is made to professionalise criminology in order to assure academic excellence, to promote research and to deliver a high standard of service to the community. The inclusion of criminologists in the criminal justice system is regarded as the ideal situation.