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- Volume 2010, Issue sed-1, 2010
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Special Edition 1, January 2010
Volumes & issues
Special Edition 1, January 2010
Author Anthony MinnaarSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp I –II (2010)More Less
These two Special Editions of the Society's Journal, Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology represent, once again, an opportunity to academics, practitioners and students to publish their conference papers as presented at the September 2009 CRIMSA conference.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 1 –17 (2010)More Less
The focus of this article is on the professionalisation process of Criminology in South Africa. Background to the start of this initiative by the Criminological and Victimological Society of Southern Africa (CRIMSA) is given to provide the context and the slow progress and obstacles encountered. The article then moves on to outline the possible benefits and limitations of the professionalisation process. Furthermore, the professional four-year degree initiative is examined against the backdrop of the existing three-year BA Criminology programmes at institutions. A further issue raised, is the decreasing numbers of Masters and Doctoral Criminology students. Overall, the need for the establishment of a Professional Board for Criminology is postulated to push forward the growth of the broad discipline and the further professionalisation of this discipline as a profession via a process of registration and a Code of Ethics/Conduct.
Author Hema HargovanSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 18 –41 (2010)More Less
Extraordinarily high rates of violent crimes in South Africa clearly suggest that restorative justice should not replace current penal law and procedure. Whether restorative processes can and should inform a greater proportion of justice system activity is a matter open for discussion. Currently, restorative justice programs complement rather than replace the existing criminal justice system. Restorative justice interventions are being adopted at various stages of the criminal justice process : pre-charge; prosecution level (post charge but before trial; at the court level (either at the pre-trial or sentencing stage) and post-sentence (as an alternative to incarceration as part of or in addition to a non-custodial sentence, during incarceration or upon release from prison). Since screening and/or referral to restorative justice processes takes place at some stage after arrest, the success of restorative justice initiatives at the pre-trial phase is dependant not only on the voluntary participation of victim/s and offender/s involved in the crime but also on the knowledge, understanding and support of officials ((police, prosecutors and magistrates) proposing restorative justice options. Prosecutors therefore, may be deemed 'gatekeepers' of restorative justice; potentially exerting a huge influence on the administration of justice. In the absence of legislation, they exercise considerable discretion in determining which cases are suitable for the application of restorative approaches. The first in a series of studies on restorative justice in KwaZulu-Natal, this paper showcases selected findings of an exploratory study on knowledge, training and actual adoption restorative justice approaches by prosecutors in the province. The study covered a wide geographical area (urban, peri-urban and rural areas) by incorporating courts from the province's six justice clusters. Even though "criminal courts present enticing opportunities to criminological researchers", access is always a challenge (Baldwin, 2000:237-238). To overcome this difficulty, the study opened up opportunities for ingenuity, inventiveness and imagination. An analysis of prosecutors' transforming roles in the criminal justice system provides useful insights on the way forward for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development generally, and the National Prosecuting Authority, more specifically.
A comparative analysis of protective measures for vulnerable and intimidated victim-witnesses in South African and English lawSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 42 –64 (2010)More Less
This article evaluates protective measures for vulnerable witnesses in light of both the Victims' Charter and measures in English law, giving effect to the right to protection in the Framework Decision on the Standing of Victims in Criminal Proceedings. It further highlights the fact that special measures for vulnerable witnesses are inadequate, being restricted to intermediaries and CCTV testimony. The pre-recorded evidence-in-chief and cross-examination, along the lines of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA), ought to be introduced. It was found that the hearsay exception does not adequately protect vulnerable witnesses who are too afraid to testify. An exception to this, such as that in the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which permits a court to admit hearsay evidence if a vulnerable witness does not give evidence through fear. Drawing on European Court of Human Rights and English case law, it could be argued that pre-recorded video evidence-in-chief and cross-examination, as well as a hearsay exception based on fear of testifying, would not infringe the accused's constitutional right to challenge evidence. The article also assesses the restrictions on sexual history evidence as contained in the YJCEA. These have been interpreted by the House of Lords to permit sexual history evidence that is relevant to an act of consent, i.e. to disallow it would violate the accused's right to a fair trial. In this article it is also argued that the Legislature is unlikely to succeed in preventing the admission of sexual history evidence based on gendered constructions of consent. The article goes on to postulate that sexual offence victims should be granted leave for their lawyers to object to the admission of such evidence. The article concludes by arguing that, in order to create the impetus to introduce the measures that it advocates, the Victims' Charter should be revised to adopt the expansive right to protection enshrined in the Framework Decision.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 65 –79 (2010)More Less
Infants and toddlers who are 'incarcerated' with their inmate-mothers within South African female correctional facilities are exposed to a harsh, criminal, rigid and static (unchangeable) custodial environment on a daily basis. Captivity and confinement have a very traumatising effect on adults, let alone the dire consequence it has on babies and toddlers. Lack of privacy, freedom of movement, limited choices, social interaction, familial and age appropriate contact all contribute to the baby and toddler's perception of reality. This controlled and unnatural world in which they spend their formative years makes it difficult for the child to adapt to 'normal' society and circumstances. This article analyses the lifestyle and experiences of babies and toddlers behind bars in order to accentuate the reality of early exposure to a criminal and correctional environment. Research participants were selected from female correctional facilities in Gauteng (Pretoria and Johannesburg Correctional Management Areas) and a qualitative research design was followed, utilising an in-depth perspective.
Author Marelize SchoemanSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 80 –94 (2010)More Less
Even though no official statistics exist concerning the recidivism rate in South Africa, it is estimated to be between 55% and 97%. National and international studies hypothesise that recidivists are responsible for a majority of the crimes committed. Within a criminal justice framework where legal resources and correctional institutions are already overburdened, recidivism is a phenomenon South Africa cannot ignore, or afford. Internationally studies of recidivism are successfully used in risk assessment, as part of crime management strategies and in the assessment of correctional systems' performance. This affects policy formulation and the development and implementation of crime prevention and management initiatives. The professed impact and high rates of recidivism is widely acknowledged in South Africa, subsequently resulting in one of the primary prevention and managerial goals of role players in the criminal justice sector, to decrease recidivism rates. But with no official statistics on recidivism, the question arises how government agencies, organisations and/or the researcher can gauge if these strategies are effective or not. One of the biggest challenges in this regard is that recidivism is not formally defined, resulting in it being defined on an ad hoc basis in accordance with a researcher and/or organisation's operational needs. No uniform system exists whereby an offender can officially be classified as a recidivist. The result is conceptual and operational confusion, resulting in recidivism rates that are characterised by its inconsistency. This accentuates the importance of a uniform conceptual framework for recidivism, as it will have a positive impact on crime management. It will also assist the judicial system with prosecutorial decision-making and penal systems with risk management and appropriate offender care. It is with the above ideals in mind that the focus of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for recidivism from a global perspective, inclusive of a proposed uniform definition and classification system for recidivism. The contribution of the paper lies in the value that the conceptualisation of recidivism will hold in the formulation of effective crime prevention and management strategies.
Author Nontyatyambo Pearl DastileSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 95 –106 (2010)More Less
This study explores the phenomenon of black female offending in South Africa by drawing on interviews with a sample of 32 incarcerated black women. The first section provides a literature overview in respect of female criminality internationally and in South Africa. The paper further outlines the methodological approach adopted in the investigation of black female criminality in South Africa. Results of this survey revealed a picture of poverty, deprivation, victimisation and economic marginalisation, as some of the pathways to black female offending in South Africa.
Author Nicola Van der MerweSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 107 –125 (2010)More Less
The focus of this article falls on school violence and, more importantly, the attitudes of learners towards violence. It is important to understand the attitudes of learners towards violence. It is important to change delinquent attitudes and behaviour that could contribute to school violence and to develop effective strategies to prevent or reduce school violence. Information was gathered through literature and empirical research. A quantitative research method was used to obtain data from four schools in the Gauteng Tshwane South District. The data was collected by means of a tool, namely the Attitudes towards Violence Scale (AVS). The AVS is a 17-item, self-report measure of attitudes towards physical violence, and is scored according to a five-point scale, with higher scores indicating attitudes that are more pro-violence. The main finding in the article was that learners exhibit pro-violence attitudes. These learners are becoming less offended and less perturbed by the daily use of violence and aggressive behaviour. Learners regard violence as an acceptable and valued activity associated with the norms and values of a culture of violence. Suggestions and recommendations regarding further research on this subject matter were also made.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 126 –139 (2010)More Less
Piracy off the coast of Somali has been a threat to international shipping since the beginning of Somalia's civil war in the 1990s. With the chaotic state of Somalia and the lack of a central government, combined with Somalia's location in a volatile Horn of Africa region, conditions were ripe for the growth of piracy in the early 1990s. Since the collapse of the state, boats illegally fishing in Somali waters became a common sight. Initially the pirates were interested in securing the waters before businessmen and militias became involved. Acts of piracy temporarily subsided following the rise of the Islamic Courts Union in 2006. In the wake of South Africa having hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the stability and the growth of most of the economies in Southern Africa, the question to ask, is: "Is South Africa and the whole region of the Southern African Development Community(SADC) ready to deal with the challenge of maritime terrorism?"
Author Bernadine BensonSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2010, pp 140 –158 (2010)More Less
The theft of and illicit trade in heritage objects is not specific to South Africa. Although internationally various studies have been conducted on this crime problem, no such studies have been undertaken within the South African context. This article aims to examine the existence of such crime - and to give a voice to South Africa's tangible heritage. Data was gathered through semi-structured, qualitative interviews with participants who are employed in the area of law enforcement or as museum specialists, curators, art dealers and auctioneers within the Gauteng province of South Africa. Additional interviews were conducted in Rome, Italy with two officers of the Italian Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage to supplement the research. Primarily, the researcher explored the possible existence of an active market in stolen or illicitly acquired heritage objects within Gauteng. A further objective was to identify some of the factors that may be contributing to the existence of this market. The article concludes with practical recommendations on how stakeholders can begin not only to create awareness of the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of South Africa, but also to engage authorities in addressing this crime problem more effectively.