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- Volume 2008, Issue sed-2, 2008
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Special Edition 2, January 2008
Volumes & issues
Special Edition 2, January 2008
Author Harriet KlopperSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp I –III (2008)More Less
This is the second of three special editions of Acta Criminologica containing papers that were presented at the Criminological and Victimological Society of Southern Africa's (CRIMSA) Conference in August 2007. The conference was held at the University of Pretoria at its Conference Centre and was titled Perspectives on Crime and Criminal Justice in Africa. More than 100 delegates attended the three days during which 53 presentations were made in breakaway sessions. In addition to these presentations, six international speakers took care of the daily plenary sessions. A wide range of topics was on the agenda stimulating lively debates and discussions. With the three special editions featuring some of the papers that were presented, it is hoped that the academic discourse started at the conference will proceed with as much vigor and enthusiasm. All papers submitted prior to the conference were divided into four categories (i.e. Criminology, Victimology, Penology and Criminal Justice) for evaluation purposes to determine award winners in the respective categories. There was also a category for works-in-progress / post-graduate student papers in all four of the categories.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 1 –20 (2008)More Less
This article deals broadly with the efforts to transform the South African Police Service (SAPS) post-1994. One of the aspects of these transformation initiatives was the implementation of a national policy of ensuring gender equity in the make-up of the Service in order to become more representative of the larger South African society. In particular the article focuses on a preliminary investigation of the police culture theme of cynicism and its development over time regarding several dimensions of the construct among male and female SAPS recruits entering basic police training at police colleges across South Africa in January of 2005 and changes that may have occurred in these attitudes over the period of the six-month basic training and the subsequent six-month field training experience. More specifically, the study looked at possible differences in the presence of, and / or changes in, attitudes of male and female recruits and implications for substantive change in the culture of the SAPS. Using a panel design, 1 485 recruits were presented with a ten-item questionnaire employing five-point Likert-scale response options ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree on a range of questions related to attitudes regarding police and community relations, respect for police, citizen honesty, and citizen willingness to assist other citizens in trouble. Follow-up surveys of 1 168 recruits at the end of their basic training six months later, as well as 870 recruits at the conclusion of field training at the end of one year were also obtained. Results indicated the presence of a generalized pessimism or cynicism on the overall scale, in addition to increasing cynicism at both post-test times. Furthermore, differences between male and female recruits were observed on several of the measures with female recruits having higher levels of cynicism compared to male recruits. Cynicism increased in both groups although at a lower rate of change for females. Implications for the community-policing model in the SAPS are also discussed, especially regarding attitudes reflecting police-citizen trust and cooperation.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 29 –31 (2008)More Less
Post-apartheid South Africa has undergone tremendous political and social changes since attaining full democracy in 1994. Developing a police culture of integrity - a culture intolerant of any forms of police misconduct - is a key ingredient of democratic policing. This article explores the contours of police integrity within the South African national police service. In 2005, questionnaires containing hypothetical cases of police corruption were collected from 379 police officers from seven provinces. It was found that a non-trivial percentage of respondents did not recognize even the most severe forms of police corruption as violations of official rules. The respondents expected relatively mild discipline to be meted out by the SAPS for even some of the most severe violations of official rules. Finally, the measurement of the code of silence lead the authors to believe that a substantial minority of SAPS supervisors would protect from exposure of different forms of police corruption. These results suggest the existence of an integrity-challenged police agency.
Rape survivors' experiences of the criminal justice system : (CJS) case study - Rape Crisis Centre Port ElizabethSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 40 –58 (2008)More Less
The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) recognises the rights of females as victims of crime and the urgency with which South Africa as a country should respond to female victims. Research in South Africa showed that in 2000, more than 52,000 cases of rape and attempted rape were reported, of which 73 percent fell through and only 27 percent prosecuted. Although the criminal justice system - represented by the police and courts - does not cause rape, it plays no small part in aggravating the problem. Statistics in South Africa has revealed that rape has one of the lowest conviction rates of all serious crimes. In this paper we gained insight into how the police, courts and medical persons respond to survivors of rape. Research participants for the research study were sought via the Port Elizabeth rape crises Centre. All participants were females who had accessed the centre for counselling and court preparation. Focus group discussions were held and face to face interview schedules were administered to the research participants. The sampling was non-probability purposive sampling. Through this research we were able to show that often times rape survivors were treated with disrespect and indignity by either members of the police or the courts. This study offers recommendations arising from the findings, some of which include : protocols of how to manage rape which must be communicated to police officers via work-shops frequently and on an on-going basis, police personnel be made aware through workshops of the policy documents that discuss victim's rights and the consequences of violating these rights, investigative officers communicate the progress of the case to the survivor's right up to the time of sentencing, police officers transform their attitude, either implicitly or explicitly, in suggesting that victims are responsible for the rape.
Towards conceptual clarity of incarceration and rehabilitation within the South African criminal justice systemAuthor Shanta SinghSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 59 –77 (2008)More Less
This article is based on research that was started in February 2006 in the Westville Medium B prison near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The research was based on interviews with prison officials, prison inmates and medical and auxiliary staff that worked in the prison. After matching some of the official statements with the literature on prisons in South Africa and my personal experiences through visits and interviews in the prisons I considered it necessary to review two widely used concepts that are often spoken about, namely : 'rehabilitation' and 'incarceration'. Both these concepts are predicated upon the notions of conviction and imprisonment. There is an entrenched perception that the three-fold process viz. conviction-imprisonment / incarceration-rehabilitation that offenders undergo prepares them for the return to normal civilian life. However, this article takes the position that against the background of overcrowded conditions, the violence that emerges from it as a result of this, sexual molestation and relationships that lead to the spread of HIV / AIDS, the poor nutrition that inmates receive and the lack of adequate support that is necessary to change inmates attitudes, incarceration is a more real condition in prison than rehabilitation in that the confinement they experience is more inhibitive than rehabilitation suggests.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 78 –91 (2008)More Less
The aim of this article is to explore the application of wireless technology in the management of inmates and wardens in correctional facilities. It commences with a discussion of current monitoring technologies that are used in correctional facilities. A newcomer to this field, namely Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is introduced as a technology that can improve current monitoring technologies. Even though RFID has been in existence for more than four to five decades, it has mostly been used for inventory tracking. Today, several correctional facilities in the USA, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia are turning to RFID to solve behavioural problems that current prison security management systems have not been able to do. As the use of RIFD in correctional facilities is very new, its application to manage the behaviour of correctional populations needs to be investigated. The article shows that RFID can improve correctional facilities management, as it can for instance, provide the means to precisely locate inmates and staff, confirm counts of inmates continuously, and alert wardens to escapes immediately. Overall, the application of RFID holds promise to improve prisoner behaviour by reducing infractions and assaults, and provide swift and efficient response to reduce the costs of prison operations. These factors contribute towards a safe and secure environment for both staff and inmates. It finally addresses the unique problems, vulnerabilities and issues related to RFID technology in correctional facilities. It highlights how RFID should be used as a supplement to current security infrastructure and how its implementation should be approached. The article reviews relevant literature on RFID and gives an analysis of current concerns. The focus is to determine the value of the RFID as a technology to the criminal justice system in South Africa.
Author Anthony MinnaarSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 92 –116 (2008)More Less
The technical definition for 'phishing' is that type of online identity theft that employs an approach to a potential victim via an e-mail in order to steal both a recipient's personal identity data and financial account credentials. In effect these e-mails are false ('spoofed') designed to lead a recipient/s to counterfeit websites that aim to trick them into divulging financial data such as account usernames and passwords. This information then used in various cybercrime activities Over the years these e-mail scams have exhibited a changing and more innovative approach from winning lotto 'millions', verifying your banking details on an exact bank replica website to receiving a 'greeting' e-card from a family friend, 'school-mate', colleague or even 'partner' which requires you to click on an Internet address and copy and paste it (the greeting e-card) into your browser's address box (this enables 'spyware' to be inserted on your computer). In this article, the different types / categories of 'cybercrime' are firstly defined to, secondly, contextualise e-mail scams / frauds; and thirdly, to track the changes to the latter and to point out some of the mistakes that enable one to identify it as a 'phishing' e-mail scam. Finally, a number of security countermeasures are postulated that individuals and companies can implement to protect themselves not only from phishing but also from other forms of cybercrime.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 117 –128 (2008)More Less
Insertion of an object into the vagina of a murder victim is a rare phenomenon. While this type of crime-scene behaviour is often mentioned as part of a range of crime-scene behaviours exhibited by offenders of sexual murders, to date no research has focused exclusively on this type of behaviour and its possible use in predicting offender characteristics. This study analysed seventeen such cases that were committed in South Africa between 1990 and 2004. Only six of the cases were solved, and therefore had offender details available for analysis. For these six incidents there were eight offenders. While small in number, there were certain common traits exhibited by these offenders, allowing a starting point for creating an offender profile of such offenders for the benefit of those investigating such cases.
Author Vanitha ChettySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 129 –138 (2008)More Less
In South Africa, there appears to be an over emphasis of the social causes of crime and violence, and relatively little on the psychological aspects that motivate and breed anti-social behaviour. Given the history of the country under the former dispensation, it is understandable why this is so. Explanations largely focus on poverty, unemployment, a divisive society, social inequality and so forth. Criminology itself, has been narrow in it's foci, and until the last few decades, conservative in it's outlook and approach to crime. Fortunately this scenario has changed, and the discipline is evolving into wider areas of research and practice encompassing the criminal justice arenas, youth offending, victimology, restorative justice, human rights violations, gender inequities, under development, the impact of HIV on child headed households, and many other relevant areas of inquiry. Mental illness, within a violent society, has not to my mind yet captured the imagination of criminologists, who are mired in socio / political debates on crime and violence, since these factors undoubtedly have a role to play in crime and victim vulnerability. However, to my mind, there is a reciprocal interplay between social and psychological factors which may differ in degree, but ultimately determine the coping mechanisms (legitimate / illegitimate) that individuals employ. This article will explore vulnerability risk factors in the life of a selected case study, and demonstrate the subject's victimization prior to, and especially by justice and mental health officials / professionals, after the commission of his several crimes. Relevant theories and debates will be cited in support of the psychological / victimological arguments presented. Pertinent legislation with regard to the accountability / criminal capacity of the accused as it pertains to South Africa, will also receive critical comment.
Empirical phenomenological research on armed robbery at residential premises : four victims' experiencesAuthor Nicola Van der MerweSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 139 –161 (2008)More Less
This article deals with the phenomenon of armed robbery at residential premises (as a subcategory of aggravated robbery), as experienced by four individual victims in the Gauteng Province. The study sample consisted of three direct victims and one indirect victim of the specific crime. The researcher made use of face-to-face interviews and semi-structured questionnaires to gather the data. The aim of this article was to research incidents of armed robbery at residential premises, gathering "rich" and in-depth information on the physical, psychological / emotional and financial impact of the crime on the direct and indirect victims. In order to gather the required data, the researcher made use of a qualitative research approach. The empirical phenomenological research method used, included the following four steps for each case : 1. Summarising the main points of each case; 2. Illustrating and condensing of the case; 3. Describing the psychological structure; and 4. Essentially structuring the interviews in all the cases. The analyzed data supported the literature consulted regarding the consequences of victimisation. All four victims suffered extensive physical, psychological, and financial setbacks. By outlining the essential structure of the victims' experiences of armed robbery at residential premises, three key themes or common trends were identified, namely : (i) The invasion of privacy or personal space; (ii) The loss of sentimental possessions; and (iii) Fear experienced as the most significant emotion. The researcher recognised the need for further research on the themes and trends identified in this study as very little research was available from existing literature regarding these topics. In addition, it needs to be mentioned that the findings of this study may not necessarily be applicable to the Gauteng population in its entirety as qualitative research findings cannot be generalised. Nevertheless, these findings allowed the researcher to obtain a greater insight into the experiences of victims of armed robbery at residential premises, in order to enlighten and educate the reader further. By gathering information regarding the impact of these robberies, this study made a contribution to victimology in South Africa which will hopefully aid the understanding of how victims respond to crime and specifically, property and violent crimes.
Author Christiaan SteynSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 162 –174 (2008)More Less
A very important asset that drives a retail operation is its stock (goods for sale / manufactured product), and as such, it is one of the assets that needs to be the best protected. Failure to prevent unnecessary losses in merchandise stock will not only lead to a decrease in overall profit but also to an increase in overall costs in order to replace stock and to investigate these losses (indirect costs). A retail operation running at a high level of loss will be forced to compensate for this by increasing their prices with the result being that it is rendered uncompetitive with other retail operations, with the consequent loss of customers (Jones, 1997: 1). Shrinkage or the loss of stock (merchandise) due to internal or external factors is a much debated issue within the retail environment. The reason for this is that there are discrepancies surrounding definitions of what exactly stock shrinkage encompasses and who the culprits of this crime are (employees or customers / clients). There are also different opinions of where the responsibility of curbing shrinkage lies. When considering these issues it becomes understandable why shrinkage continues to be a drain on resources and why many companies write it off as something that has to be budgeted for because of the perception that nothing can be done to curb it. The purpose, then, of this article is to present a synopsis of stock shrinkage, namely : how it can be defined; process failures, inter-company fraud, internal and external theft and a lack of cooperation between role-players as some of the factors leading to a higher shrinkage percentage; as well as the impact of shrinkage on a company. Lastly, an attempt is made to explain how an understanding of the phenomenon of 'hot products' and 'hot spots' in the supply chain can lead to the creation of more effective prevention / reduction strategies. In order to do this, a preliminary review of international literature, particularly that from Europe and America, since a paucity of literature exists within South Africa regarding this issue, was undertaken.
Author Leandri Van JaarsveldSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 175 –188 (2008)More Less
South African schools are rapidly and increasingly becoming arenas for violence. Schools are no longer known as safe and secure environments where children can go to learn, enjoy themselves and feel secure. Rather they are increasingly being defined as dangerous and unsafe places of learning. This article is a preliminary review of a literature study on how school violence is becoming a serious security problem, not only in South Africa, but globally. School violence touches each country and each school in its own unique manner. Every school will have different problems and different needs, therefore the security strategies designed for each school will vary according to their circumstances and environment. The objective of security measures is to create a safe and secure environment conducive to learning. In today's schools, security is a fundamental element that should, to some degree, be implemented in all schools in order to prevent and reduce school violence as much as possible. There are various security measures that can be implemented in schools, which can be human (guards, community participation), physical (perimeter fencing, lighting) and / or electronic (CCTV, intruder alarms) in nature as well as to improve and implement different policies and procedures within schools. These security measures will assist in reducing the probability and the impact that crime and violence has on the school environment. Previously the responsibility for the safety of learners at schools lay with the individual school itself, i.e. teacher body. However, today it requires the assistance of the school, the parents, the police, the Department of Education and the community in general. The problem of school violence can only be addressed successfully if all of these individuals and institutions co-operate and work together in a co-ordinated manner.
Sexual victimisation of female students at a South African tertiary institution : the victim's perception of the perpetratorAuthor Nontyatyambo Pearl DastileSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 189 –206 (2008)More Less
In this study, the nature and consequences of the sexual victimisation of female students at a South African tertiary institution were explored with specific reference to sexual harassment and rape. Ten research participants who met the requirements of the study were selected by means of purposive theoretical sampling. Two victims of sexual harassment and eight female students, who were subjected to rape on campus, participated in the study. To obtain in-depth qualitative information on the nature of the research participants' experiences, face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted. Based upon the interpretation of the data, it became evident that most of the sexual harassment and rape incidents occurred on campus between individuals who were acquainted with each other. Further analysis of the data showed that offender related risk factors (such as male peer support and the use of alcohol) contributed to sexual harassment and rape of the female students. Emanating from the feedback from the research participants, the profile of the perpetrators as well as their perceptions about these crimes were assessed together with the responses and reactions from the university management, security personnel, administrative staff as well as the South African Police Services in dealing with the perpetrators of these crimes. Recommendations regarding crime and victimisation risk reduction measures were formulated aimed at the perpetrator but also applicable to tertiary institutions to encourage management to dispel stereotypes surrounding sexual harassment and rape and to implement effective policies to protect female students as particularly vulnerable victims of campus violence.
Sexual victimisation of male offenders and awaiting-trial detainees in a South African correctional centreAuthor Karen BooyensSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2008, pp 207 –226 (2008)More Less
The research for this article was undertaken in one South African correctional centre and indicates that men are subjected to sexual victimisation on a regular basis. Interviews were conducted with 100 male awaiting-trial child, juvenile and adult detainees (ATDs) as well as with male juvenile and adult offenders. The researcher aimed to determine the participant's knowledge of sexual practices in the correctional centre. The majority of the participants (78%) reported that anal penetration is practiced in this correctional centre, and includes both rape (one-on-one and gang rape) as well as consensual sex between two inmates. An interesting finding is that this type of sex is mentioned across the research sample (children, juveniles and adult males). Sixty-four percent (64%) of the participants reported that inmates practice interfemoral sex. The third type of sex that is practiced in the correctional centre is oral sex (23%), followed by masturbation (21%). Many of the participants replied that the type of sex (anal, interfemoral, oral or masturbation) is often agreed upon by both parties. The reasons why men participate in sex while awaiting-trial include a need for emotional sex, survival sex, compliance sex and forced sex. Regarding the sexual victimisation that takes place in this particular correctional centre, more than half of the participants (57%) revealed that they had sexual insults directed at them, some every day. However, they do not recognise this as a form of sexual victimisation, rather as a part of life in a correctional centre. Other sexual acts that the victims have been subjected to include forced oral sex, interfemoral sex and masturbation. With specific reference to rape, the majority (84%) of the research participants affirmed that they have heard of rape, and offered the following reasons for this act : two inmates not reaching an agreement, corruption by correctional officials, gang involvement and deception. The researcher interviewed six victims of rape and four perpetrators. In the presentation the characteristics of both the victims and the perpetrators will be discussed. The protocol developed for this correctional centre to make it easier for victims of sexual victimisation to report the crime to correctional officials will also be discussed.