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- Volume 2015, Issue sed-3, 2015
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Special Edition 3, January 2015
Volumes & issues
Special Edition 3, January 2015
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp I –V (2015)More Less
Illicit drug use has been identified as a leading health indicator, since it is associated with multiple deleterious health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, and numerous social problems among adolescents and adults. Yet a lacuna in a systematic understanding of current discourses on the psycho-social impacts of illicit drug use, drug trafficking and decriminalisation of drugs in criminological research exists. This Special Issue showcases contemporary research that fills a noteworthy gap in understanding the various facets of illicit substance abuse. Conceptualised with the motive of engaging in 'thicker' debates over the profound discursivities surrounding illicit drug addiction and dependence, this special edition of the society's Journal draws from diverse local, national and international approaches and perspectives.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 1 –28 (2015)More Less
This article attempts to provide an overview by means of a situational review, using available information in the public domain, of illicit drug demand, supply and cross-border drug smuggling in South Africa. Given the limitations on official statistics and ongoing cases in terms of prosecution, which are often of a sensitive and/or undercover nature, the resulting information, by its nature, therefore provides a broad picture and not necessarily that of an 'on-the ground' approach. Statistics on prosecutions/conviction rates for drug offences are also not available. Accordingly, the data was supplemented by means of media analysis of reported cases of drug smuggling, semi-structured interviews with drug trafficking experts and a literature study. Resulting from this, findings and recommendations were formulated. By making the deduction that drug demand and drug supply are interrelated it was ultimately concluded that drug smuggling would continue as long as there is a demand for drugs, which is then fed by readily available drug supply routes to and from the country. From media reports analysed, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin were the drugs most frequently smuggled in and out of South Africa. Of these three main drugs smuggled, cocaine and methamphetamine were smuggled in the largest quantities. The quantities of heroin found in the possession of arrested South African drug mules were insignificantly small. This contradicts treatment centre data, which were analysed that indicated heroin and methamphetamine users were almost double in numbers in comparison to cocaine users being treated at centres. It is projected that the drug demand in South Africa will continue to increase if the drug supply routes and drug smuggling operations by syndicates are not addressed more firmly by the authorities.
Exposure to interpersonal violence during childhood as an antecedent to adolescent drug abuse : an analysis of gender differencesAuthor Steven J. CollingsSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 29 –41 (2015)More Less
Gender differences in the association between childhood exposure to interpersonal violence and adolescent drug abuse were examined in a non-clinical sample of 725 South African adolescents. When alcohol abuse in the past 12 months was entered as the criterion variable, there was a significant association between childhood experiences of witnessing domestic violence and the severity of alcohol abuse for both male and female participants. In addition, a history of child molestation was significantly associated with the severity of alcohol abuse for female participants but not for males. When the use of illicit substances in the past 12 months was entered as the criterion variable, the severity of illicit substance use among male participants was significantly predicted by an older age, higher levels of poverty in the family home and a history of childhood exposure to: direct forms of domestic violence, direct and vicarious forms of exposure to community violence, and childhood molestation. None of the variables considered in the analysis were found to account for a significant proportion of the variance in the severity of illicit substance abuse among female participants. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and for future research.
An exploration of lifestyle theory as pertaining to the use of illegal drugs by young persons at risk in informal settlements in South AfricaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 42 –53 (2015)More Less
An international increase in substance use amongst young people also finds resonance in South Africa. In this study, conducted amongst a non-random sample of young people living in informal settings in South Africa, the basic tenants of Lifestyle Exposure Theory and substance use interaction were explored. Lifestyle Theory supports the notion that crime will occur when there is a concurrence of the spatio-temporal organisation of precipitating criminogenic activities, such as exposure to substance use by young persons at risk. Lifestyle Theory provides an alternative understanding of the context of drug use and addiction. Lifestyle Theory perceives "conditions" underlying substance use and addiction as influences that limit a person's life options. The findings of this study confirm the premises of the Lifestyle Theory and identified the need for further research into substance use within deprived communities, in order to make a real difference in intervention efforts. Lifestyle Theory illustrates the context-specific vulnerability of at-risk youths that make them disproportionally susceptible to involvement with the drug subculture.
Author Rajendra ChettySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 54 –65 (2015)More Less
Schools often provide a way of building up a secure and productive society resilient to criminality, but South African education is in crisis and has neglected poor Cape Flats schools where help is most needed to fight crime. This article argues that illicit drug use is integrally linked to the social dynamics on the Cape Flats area of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province. It engages specifically with drug abuse and its nexus with gangsterism in schools in disadvantaged communities using a Sociology of Education lens. This article also argues that due to these social dynamics, greater consideration needs to be given to the social conditions of the schools, homes and communities of youth involved in illicit drug use. The article leans on a literature review and textual analyses of relevant research and points toward a strategic and collaborative stakeholder partnership to address drug abuse in Cape flats schools.
Frequency and bio-demographic correlates of substance use among undergraduate students attending a double-medium university in South AfricaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 66 –82 (2015)More Less
Compared to the general population, higher levels of substance use are generally considered a normalised part of student t life. This contribution adds to the limited body of knowledge on students' substance use patterns in South African contexts, specifically insofar as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, hard drugs and prescription medication are concerned. Voluntary selection techniques were followed to gather data by means of a self-administered survey from 818 students. The use of alcohol and prescription medication featured fairly prominently among students, followed by tobacco use. A marginal proportion of students engaged in the use of hard drugs, while cannabis use prevailed as a cause for concern. In line with local and international evidence, male students presented higher levels of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use, while female respondents appear more prone to the use of prescription medication. Significant differences in students' substance use mimic the South African realities of racial inequalities vis-à-vis socio-economic status, where White students, those from higher income groups and having attended a private school show elevated frequencies of substance use. While the General Strain Theory provides some insights into the dynamics of prescription substance use, social learning theories appear better suited to explain experimentation, socialisation and enculturation into substance use, especially so given the increase of substance use between academic year levels.
Author Bonita Adele MarimuthuSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 83 –95 (2015)More Less
Drug addiction is a societal problem that is steadily growing and contributes to the destruction of families and communities (Schafer, 2011). Against this argument, the purpose of this study is to explore and describe the experiences of individual family members living with illicit drug users. Using non probability sampling within a qualitative framework, individual in-depth interviews were conducted with five participants identified through a Non-governmental organisation, namely Narcotics Anonymous. The results show that family members of the illicit drug users have suffered emotionally, criminally and economically as a result of the addict's behavior. More specifically, interviewees expressed their feelings over having personal items stolen, being isolated from extended families and friends, the impact of threats of violence on caregivers, caregivers' desperation and numerous attempts in seeking help for users to rehabilitate themselves and finally regardless of the emotional impact of the drug use on the parents, they continue to care for the users. Based on the findings this study makes recommendations on the need for support for families affected by illicit drug use.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 96 –113 (2015)More Less
Tik, tuk, crystal, straws, globes, ganja, coke, snackies, white lady, acid, crack are all street names for various illegal drugs in South Africa. Nyaope or whoonga, depending on the geographical location in South Africa, seems to be the latest version and is attracting school children and extremely young first-time drug users. Ten years ago, no one knew about nyaope, but now the drug is a hit in most townships in South Africa including Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and Mamelodi. Nyaope is a mixture of dagga, heroin and other substances including antiretroviral drugs. Today, the scourge is taking hold of the community Mamelodi and other townships. This research is an outcome of a Community Engagement Project undertaken by the representatives of the College of Law at the University of South Africa. The project started in 2012 and was completed in 2014. Fourteen public high schools situated in Mamelodi were involved in this project. The aim of the project was to sensitise the school kids about the dangers of drugs, as well as testing their knowledge about the dangers of using drugs.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 114 –130 (2015)More Less
There has been increasing research and policy interests in understanding Marijuana smoking around the world. Many of the existing studies on illicit use of Marijuana, however, did not focus on students' marijuana smoking in Africa at institutions of higher learning, thereby leaving a gap in knowledge on the topic and more specifically the focus of this article. In the last ten years in the developed countries (for example in the United States of America), while there have been numerous studies on the smoking of Marijuana in schools and particularly universities, only a few such studies have been done on the African continent. This article, therefore, provides original and empirical contextualisation of Marijuana smoking among young undergraduates in a rapidly modernising traditional context in Nigeria. Accordingly, this article offers fresh case study insights from sub-Saharan Africa in an attempt to reduce the knowledge gap on young peoples' illicit Marijuana use in Africa. The article is based on detailed qualitative ethnographic primary research among the target group. Findings revealed that: Marijuana smoking sometimes starts as early as when the user is in elementary school; there are different contextual code names for Marijuana to avoid social and legal sanctions; and, even when young Marijuana smokers are aware of the criminalisation of their act, they are not deterred partly because the law is weak and the law enforcers are themselves complicit in its use. It is thus time to re-strategise the many existing legal, policy, social, generational and moral issues surrounding Marijuana smoking, especially among young people in Africa.
The legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana (dagga) : a review of American and South African experiencesSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 131 –166 (2015)More Less
This article is a review of the efforts in the USA and South Africa for the legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana (cannabis/dagga) and its use for both medical and recreational purposes. It outlines the arguments, as developed largely in the USA, for and against this legalisation and decriminalisation of this so-called 'soft' drug., In South Africa, where this process has made scant headway, the article traces this struggle, firstly, the Prince case that took this fight all the way to the Constitutional Court; and secondly, the initiative by Mario Oriani-Ambrosini in early 2014, to get Parliamentary approval for the medical use of marijuana in South Africa by means of the Medical Innovation Bill. The article also traces the delays and eventual indefinite postponement of enacting the Bill.
Author Sultan KhanSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 167 –179 (2015)More Less
The global debate on the use of cannabis has not been conclusive although some countries (or states)have decriminalised its use and cultivation. Use of this narcotic is bifurcated, ranging from its positive and negative effects on health, as well as its decriminalisation. Notwithstanding this, the use of cannabis is common practice amongst all racial groups in South Africa, although they run the risk of being prosecuted. Attempts at a more liberal policy on legalising cannabis made a brief appearance in 2014 in the political corridors of the South African government but no reform of the stringent laws on its use occurred. This article seeks to provide a global perspective on the use of cannabis in so far as its negative and positive benefits are concerned from a health perspective and the politics surrounding its legalisation and decriminalisation. It thereafter focuses on the South African perspective on the drug, followed by an analysis of perceptions on the drug drawn from a sample of users from a population of 284 who participated in an internet blog for its legalisation and decriminalisation. Through content analysis of the blog, the article provides a perspective on its legalisation and decriminalisation.
'They smoke it, then they go "mal"...' : an anthropological perspective on the drugs-gangs-violence connection and South Africa's National Drug PlanAuthor Theodore PetrusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 180 –195 (2015)More Less
Gangsterism and its associated criminality continue to be a serious challenge to safety and security in various communities throughout South Africa. Specifically in some communities of the Western and Eastern Cape provinces, street gangs have become somewhat integrated into these communities. Much research and literature exists that document the relationship between gang formations and their involvement in underground or illicit economies, many of which include the illegal narcotics trade. The literature suggests that in some cases certain gangs are able to survive because of the gains they achieve from the drug trade. There are many examples worldwide, the most prolific being the South American drug cartels and gangs that have a highly sophisticated and influential network. This article seeks to focus on the relationship between gangs, violence and drugs within the South African context. While the criminological literature has revealed some insights into this phenomenon, this article posits an anthropological perspective in an effort to illustrate the potential contribution that such an approach could make to understanding the drugs-gang-violence dynamic in the South African context. In addition, the article shows how the anthropological perspective could contribute to South African drug policy, specifically the National Drug Master Plan (2013-2017).
Culture and legality : the case of the consumption of the coca leaf in South America, with specific reference to ArgentinaAuthor Lia Rodriguez De la VegaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 196 –209 (2015)More Less
Concerning the use of psychoactive substances (nioco, ayahuasca, peyotl) by diverse groups, there are some whose effects are predominantly hallucinogenic, others whose effects are mostly dynamogenic and psychotonic (this is the case of the coca leaf). The Andean peoples reap the benefits of the coca, this nutritional and medicinal plant although its most important function is to act as a medium of social integration within the community. In the case of Argentina, the coca market is mainly located in the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán, in the north-western zone of the country (NOA), where the consumption of coca was adopted in the 18th century, spreading henceforward to all social layers and classes at the beginning of the 20th century. Considering the above mentioned, the article aims at analysing the cultural reach of the use of the coca leaf in South America, the situation of its use and its association with the legality and illegality in Argentina and the dynamics of the relationship between Argentina and Bolivia in this context, based on a review of the literature on the theme and the consultation of documents.
Author Ashwin DesaiSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 210 –221 (2015)More Less
This article seeks to explore the challenges faced by two people recovering from drug addiction in Durban. Both are Black African to use the terminology of our time. The one participant is a woman and the other, a male teenager on the edge of youth. This article uses the life history approach as a way of telling two stories, illustrating the social context in which people's lives are blighted by drug abuse and the recurring problems associated with attempts to overcome addiction. It situates the narrative of these two lives in a city witness to the eroding of apartheid and the opening up of new spaces and challenges. Sensitive to issues of spatiality and temporality, it is a story while embedded in local realities, places it in the context of broader changes in society.
The Anti-Drug Forum (ADF) : a case for community-based substance abuse education and rehabilitation in post-apartheid South AfricaAuthor Gerelene JagganathSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 2015, pp 222 –235 (2015)More Less
The township of Chatsworth in Durban has both a long history of struggle politics from a repressive past of indenture and the apartheid era, as well as an equally long history of substance abuse that continues to 'haunt' the newer generations. Known as a predominantly 'Indian' area, Chatsworth is a vibrant and dynamic community, but characterised by high unemployment rates and other social ills such as drug addiction. The Anti-Drug Forum (ADF), as a community-based organisation, has begun addressing the 'scourge' of substance abuse in Chatsworth with a specific focus targeting youth on the streets and at school as potential users and runners (distributors) in the local drug trade networks. Led by struggle heroes and activists who championed the anti-apartheid movement, the leadership of the ADF has provided social and moral support to the community at large and continues to do so in the lives of youth and substance abusers by creating awareness and providing programs design to meet the needs of the local context. This article is about the ADF and its role in substance abuse education in Chatsworth, as well as the challenges facing the sustainability and of such a community-based organisation.