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- Volume 23, Issue 1, 2010
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 23, Issue 1, 2010
Volumes & issues
Volume 23, Issue 1, 2010
Establishing a regulatory board for criminologists : role and functions of the board and the way forwardAuthor C.M.B. NaudeSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp I –IX (2010)More Less
It is a well-known fact that since the inception of the Criminological and Victimological Society of Southern Africa (CRIMSA) in 1986, one of its main objectives was the establishment of a regulatory board for criminologists. A 1995 survey conducted by the then CRIMSA professionalisation committee indicated that 91.8% of the 269 criminologists surveyed supported the establishment of such a board. See Naude (2008) for a full discussion in this regard. When the Social Work Amendment Act 102 of 1998 was changed to also make provision for the establishment of regulatory boards for persons practising other related professions, CRIMSA submitted an application for a regulatory board for criminologists to the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) on 13 March 2006.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 1 –13 (2010)More Less
In the extensive literature on restorative justice, victim-offender dialogue, which refers to a face-to-face meeting between the offender and the victim, is increasingly portrayed as a new form of victim support. In particular, it is regarded as a tool to reduce anger and feelings of revenge among crime victims. Post-traumatic anger is a common symptom among victims with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although not much research has been conducted on this aspect. The evidence base for therapeutic effects is generally weak and anecdotal in nature. An impressive attempt to enhance that base was made by Sherman et al. (2005). Diminished anger, assumed to reflect the presentation of a sincere apology during a meeting, was confirmed in their study. However, because internal validity appears to be rather problematic, their findings are regarded as inconclusive and controversial from a victim-support perspective. Subsequently an analogue study was conducted among students who were involved in an anger-provoking incident to enhance internal validity by means of a simulated, imaginary dialogue. The students were randomly assigned to participate in one of two anger-release conditions, in which they were given the opportunity to write about their emotional responses. Writing instructions were derived from Pennebaker's (2004) written disclosure protocol. In one of these conditions a sincere apology was presented after the first writing session. Findings revealed significant progress with regard to anger and forgiveness in both conditions, but did not support a general mediating role for apology. Although apologies were shown to diminish anger if the respondent found the apology helpful, it had an adverse effect when this was not the case. A significant proportion of participants showed regression with regard to anger acceptance during follow-up sessions. In line with these findings a psychological moderator model is presented that explicitly includes a pathway to harmful victim-offender dialogue outcomes. Suggestions are offered for further study of the therapeutic effects of shuttle mediation in an ecologically richer experimental setting.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 14 –34 (2010)More Less
After World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, the economies of many countries worldwide experienced a boom period. Many people were able to buy private motor vehicles. A consequence of this, however, was that the number of road traffic accidents in these countries has also increased dramatically. From reports over decades it became clear that traffic safety programs that were implemented did not have the desired effect. To evaluate success, countries normally used accident rates or indices based on mathematical formulas. Rates and indices were and are still used to compare accident situations among countries - normally on an annual basis. It seems that motorised countries try to determine a "winner" by recording the lowest accident rates and indices in a specific year. The approaches followed are uncoordinated. In addition to trend analysis, the municipal police managers or road transport and traffic safety fraternity authorities in the various countries could also focus on risk analysis. Risk analysis is used in the industry with its many role players and security and safety can be promoted through this approach in a more scientific manner. Although risks are normally formulated in terms of probability theory, a Risk Score Value model could be of further benefit to road traffic managers. The Risk Score Value could be used to assist authorities to conduct cost effectiveness studies and to prioritize and optimise countermeasures in a holistic integrated manner with a view to reduce road operation risks to an acceptable level.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 35 –49 (2010)More Less
Serial rape attracts much media attention and has become a topic of increased interest and concern. However, both locally and internationally, there is a paucity of empirically based research. The limited research which exists often does not focus on the victim as a "subject" which could contribute to solving existing cases or in curtailing the serial rapist. In this article, socio-demographic characteristics of 75 victims of serial rape, and how they were selected by the rapist were used to construct a general profile of the people who are the targets of the serial rapist. Factors or contexts which put women at risk are also identified and investigated. Comparisons are made between the characteristics of the victims of serial rapists in other countries, while comparisons are also made between the victims of single-victim rapists and those of the serial rapist. Of great concern is, amongst others, that the results indicate that in South Africa a large number of victims of the serial rapist are girl children. Limitations of the research are indicated, while a suggestion for future research concludes the article.
Author H. FoucheSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 50 –60 (2010)More Less
Media reports that Somali pirates are holding seafarers to ransom in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea and the Western Indian Ocean are, unfortunately, not an infrequent occurrence. Robust action by the naval fleets of various states and naval alliances operating in the area since 2008 has led to the capture of many pirates. More than half of the detained suspected pirates, however, have been released without being prosecuted. Clearly the states prosecuting pirates captured at sea in the region face considerable difficulties. This paper examines those difficulties and suggests that following the law enforcement approach will produce the desired outcome, namely successful prosecution. In reaching this conclusion, the law enforcement approach is analysed in terms of arrest, investigation and prosecution.
Measuring crime victims' pathways to justice : developing indicators for costs and quality of access to justiceAuthor M. LaxminarayanSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 61 –83 (2010)More Less
Notwithstanding an abundance of data on and empirical evidence about the experiences of victims during justice proceedings, there is a lack of a more systematic approach which quantitatively assesses these experiences. This study is aimed at operationalising such experiences by means of measuring the costs, the quality of the procedure as well as the quality of the outcome. Empirical evidence and normative literature in the fields of law and victimology point to the most relevant indicators of high quality justice. The measurement tool or framework may be applied to victims in all justice settings, whether involved in criminal, civil, or restorative proceedings or other forms of resolution. In addition, researchers, policymakers and court personnel can utilise the outcomes of the study to compile descriptive and comparative analyses of victims' access to justice, as well as to gain the necessary insight with regard to possible improvement.
The experience of transformation by police officers. Findings from a qualitative study conducted in Cape Town, South AfricaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 84 –95 (2010)More Less
One of the most significant changes that occurred at the end of Apartheid in 1994 was the transformation of the South African Police and the ten independent "homeland" police forces of the Apartheid era into a combined South African Police Service (SAPS). Not only were the SAPS faced with the democratic imperative of changing the demographic profile of the force, but it also had to adapt to rapidly changing legislation and restructuring challenges. In the context of high rates of serious crime, a number of specialised units covering investigations such as murder and robbery, thought to have performed poorly, were restructured. Some of the detectives were redeployed to station level in order to provide higher skills and enable the investigation of crimes at local level. In Cape Town, where this study was conducted, the illegal firearms unit, the murder and robbery unit, the taxi violence unit and the unit dealing with crimes against the state were closed down and replaced with a single serious and violent crimes unit. Detectives who had previously been stationed at the specialised units were moved to local stations. A qualitative study using semi-structured interviews was undertaken at two police stations in Cape Town and included 15 officers ranging from Inspector to Station Commissioner. This article aims to provide some insight into the contextual environment as well as the attitudes of police officers regarding the transformation process. Issues identified by thematic content analysis were the complaints by senior police officers regarding the lack of discipline within the SAPS since the transformation; employment equity policies; and a lack of motivation among police officers as a result of poor remuneration, low recruitment standards, a shortage of training and human resources as well as stressful working conditions. Based on this study and a review of recent literature, it is concluded that the transformation process and associated restructuring contributed to a lack of motivation and that senior officers felt that they had lost authority. Furthermore, the retirement of police officers and insufficient training cast a heavier burden on those remaining. Rates of serious and violent crimes remain high, thus raising questions about the success of the restructuring process.
Author N.C. De WetSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 96 –117 (2010)More Less
The aim of this article is to report on findings from a qualitative explorative study on school principals' bullying behaviour, in the light of the scarcity of literature on workplace bullying in South African schools. In-depth personal interviews were conducted with ten educators who were identified by means of the "snowball"- sampling technique. Inductive thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data and the following forms of bullying behaviour by school principals emerged : Principals ignore educators' thoughts, needs, feelings and accomplishments; there is non-support of educators; educators are verbally abused and publicly ridiculed; unwarranted and unfair criticism is levelled at educators; educators are set up to fail; educators are subjected to social and professional isolation; there is a lack of empathy; unwarranted written reprimands may be issued; favouritism is displayed; educators are forced to resign or are reassigned and are even threatened with dismissal. The discussion of these forms of bullying behaviour is supported by direct quotes from the participants, as well as references to relevant literature.
Sex trafficking : International context and response, Marie Segrave, Sanja Milivojevic, Sharon Pickering : book reviewAuthor Gerd KirchhoffSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 118 –121 (2010)More Less
This was a book that was read with increasing interest and attention. The authors provide the reader with an understanding of sex trafficking from the viewpoint of feminist criminologists. A brief overview of the development of sex trafficking shows that states prohibited women's mobility, their agency and their potential, resulting inter alia in their migration (across borders in legal and criminal ways) and engaging in sex work. Over time, conservative and moralistic law and order controls were mobilised to combat these activities. Currently the key elements of the prevailing international paradigm include the state, border controls, security, as well as gender, crime and criminal justice data systems. The authors regard the predominant law and order framework as a moralist agenda, which disallows critical engagement and is sustained by selective narratives of extreme cases and official statistics.
The men who killed me : Rwandan survivors of sexual violence, Anne-Marie De Brouwer, Sandra Ka Hon Chu : book reviewAuthor Anna-Mart Van WykSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 23, pp 122 –124 (2010)More Less
Rape - a brutal act of violence almost as old as the human race and an intrinsic part of nearly every conflict since time immemorial as a "necessary bounty for fighting men". Indeed, until very recently, the world largely turned a blind eye to the use of rape in war, regarding it as private actions committed by individuals. Perpetrators were and are rarely held accountable for their actions. Rape survivors, on the other hand, suffer severe stigma and discrimination, especially if they are also living with HIV. In addition, they largely shy away from speaking openly about sexual violence. In many conservative societies, rape survivors have also to endure the denial of their right to employment, to property and to inheritance. This, in turn, makes them economically and socially vulnerable, and in many cases leading to further violence in a world where, ironically, the phrases "human rights" and "women's rights" appear almost daily in newspapers around the globe.