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- Volume 24, Issue 2, 2011
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 24, Issue 2, 2011
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Volume 24, Issue 2, 2011
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 1 –16 (2011)More Less
Over the last few years the wholesale slaughter of rhinoceroses (rhinos) in South Africa has unceremoniously thrust conservation crime into the news. Not only is the wanton massacre of these animals abhorrent in itself, but it becomes even more so when one considers that they are generally being decimated on managed protected areas and nature reserves. During 2010, for example, 333 rhinos were poached across South Africa, 146 of them from within the precincts of the Kruger National Park, South Africa's premier wildlife conservation area. By April 2011 South Africa had lost a further 114 rhinos to poaching and current estimates are that in South Africa we will, on average, lose one rhino per day. Conservation law violations encompass many offences against the natural environment, a common one being wildlife poaching. Previous research has often described the extent and impact of poaching as offender behaviour. While it has indisputably contributed to an understanding of this crime and what motivates poachers, more research is needed to examine why protected conservation areas are so easily penetrated and wildlife populations victimised on a regular basis. Theory-based studies focusing on all elements of a crime, would add to the understanding of poaching. The qualitative enquiry in this article examines the efficacy of the Routine Activities Theory in order to assist the understanding of the phenomenon of poaching in protected conservation areas in South Africa. Data collected at conservation areas threatened by poaching, were analysed via this theory. Wildlife custodianship problems were identified with a view to both developing a framework for understanding the challenges being faced in this arena and empowering policy makers to more resourcefully initiate intervention strategies and control illegal hunting in these conservation areas.
Parole board administrative action : an encroachment on the judicial decisions of the courts of law of South AfricaAuthor Mike Van HeerdenSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 17 –29 (2011)More Less
The courts of law exercise their judicial authority with independence and impartiality and therefore an order issued by a court may only be altered by another court with higher jurisdiction. When a court convicts a person of a crime, it considers an appropriate punishment, for example a prison sentence, to reach carefully determined objectives aimed at the rehabilitation of the offender. Once sentenced, the offender is placed in the custody of correctional services to serve the sentence imposed. The role of correctional services is to aim at attaining a positive change in the conduct of the offender. A Correctional Supervision and Parole Board, however, has the authority to place a prisoner on parole after considering a profile report on that prisoner. This administrative action is tantamount to an alteration of the trial court's judicial decision on an appropriate sentence. The Correctional Supervision and Parole Board is not part of the court of law structure and its action appears to be in conflict with the indication of the Constitutional Court that a non-judicial official may not encroach upon the functions of a judicial official. The purpose of this article is to focus on the distinct actions and independence of the judiciary and highlight the complexity of the process that the trial court follows before deciding on an appropriate sentence in a particular case. This article also reflects on the question of whether a Correctional Supervision and Parole Board should have such significant authority that it impacts on a court's judicial decision. To sustain the stated question, mention is made of the current challenges that thwart the effective functioning of such a Board. Proposals are made as to a more appropriate role for a Correctional Supervision and Parole Board so that its administrative actions would not be tantamount to an alteration of the trial court's sentence.
A comparison of corrections' management from a Scandinavian and an African perspective with the emphasis on release policiesAuthor Willem F.M. LuytSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 30 –59 (2011)More Less
In recent South African correctional history the release of inmates has become the topic of much debate. The researcher investigated the phenomenon in a number of different countries. Release practices in Scandinavia were investigated, with the emphasis on Denmark, where reintegration of inmates back into society after release has proven to be successful. In addition, noteworthy release practices in Africa were also investigated. Included in the discussion is the extra-mural labour practice from Botswana and how the perpetrators of genocide are dealt with in Rwanda. The research is rounded off with discussions about the release of inmates in South Africa.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 60 –74 (2011)More Less
Once individuals have been convicted and sentenced in a criminal court they may be referred to correctional centres to serve their terms of imprisonment. Upon entering a correctional centre, offenders become assimilated into an inmate subculture in which they adapt to the unique demands of the correctional centre and have to sacrifice certain rights (e.g. freedom, possessions, heterosexual relationships, etc.). The inmate subculture also tends to create opportunities for deviant sexual behaviour such as homosexual or lesbian activities, male or female prostitution and gang rape. In correctional centres consensual sex is practiced secretly between two consenting parties as opposed to forced (non-consensual) sexual assault or rape. One of the reasons for deviant sexual behaviour by inmates may the protracted separation between married inmates which may also be blamed for the breakdown in personal relationships. This research study is exploratory and descriptive and focuses on the perceptions and opinions of correctional officers pertaining to consensual sex in correctional centres. The Ncome Correctional Management Area (NCMA) in KwaZulu-Natal, and more specifically, five correctional centres situated within it, has been arbitrarily selected as the areas of study. A 5-point Likert-type measuring scale was used to accommodate data forthcoming from a closed-structured questionnaire. The data indicates that the deregulation of consensual sex in corrections should be seriously considered, based on the assumption that sexual relationships are a human right. Consensual sex is being viewed as a sexual outlet capable of reducing rape in a correctional context. While deprivation of sexual relationships may cause emotional imbalances, it would appear that gay and lesbian rights are increasingly demanding recognition, irrespective of whether consensual sex compounds the HIV / Aids pandemic. Deregulation in terms of the formal code and creating viable avenues to make conjugal visits a reality, seems to be important future policy options.
The influence of a diversion programme on the psycho-social functioning of youth in conflict with the law in the Northwest ProvinceSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 75 –93 (2011)More Less
Diversion is a process of channelling children away from the formal court system to programmes that are re-integrative. A child can be diverted when he / she acknowledges responsibility for the act and both he / she and his / her parents or guardians agree to go the diversion route. This option allows a child to avoid the stigmatising and often brutalising effects of criminal justice system incarceration, as well as affording the child the opportunity to avoid a criminal record. Diversion is very closely linked to the concept of restorative justice. Restorative justice is about offenders making amends for what they have done and trying to heal relationships between offenders and their victims, families and communities. Khulisa, a non-profit crime prevention organisation, presents various programmes for youth in conflict with the law. One of the programmes, the "Positively Cool" Diversion Programme, is a life skills programme incorporating a number of essential skills necessary for the effective management of a child's life. The focus of this study was on this specific diversion programme. The aim of the research was to evaluate the influence of the diversion programme on the psycho-social functioning of the child in conflict with the law. A combined qualitative and quantitative research approach was followed. Eighteen children in conflict with the law from the North-West Province, participated in the research. They completed pre- and post-test questionnaires, as well as a self-developed qualitative questionnaire. The research found that there was an improvement within the psycho-social functioning of those that successfully completed the diversion programme.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 94 –111 (2011)More Less
PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that 72% of South African companies have reportedly fallen victim to commercial crime. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in its 2008 'Report to the Nation' also stated that the risk of fraud is the greatest in emerging markets such as South Africa. This situation creates the need for well-trained forensic investigators. The aim of this study is to assess the value of an experiential learning approach to equip forensic interviewers with relevant person-centred techniques to employ within a forensic context so that they can obtain meaningful information. A mixed-method design was employed. The samples were alternatively selected as both an availability and a purposive sample, consisting of 14 males and 19 females. Twenty-three of the persons interviewed were between the ages of 22-34 years and ten between the ages of 35-60 years. Thirty-two people were white and one was black. Twenty-one of them had an accounting background, while 12 had a legal background. Quantitative data was collected with the use of self-report questionnaires, semi-experiential pre-test and post-test measure, as well as formative and summative assessment results. The quantitative data was analysed by means of descriptive and inferential techniques. Open-ended questionnaire items and semi-structure personal interviews were employed to collect the qualitative data from experts in the field of forensic interviewing, as well from interviewers that had previously participated in the training programme. The qualitative data was analysed by means of comparative content analysis. This evaluative research showed that an experiential learning environment does make a valuable contribution to the field of forensic investigative interviewing training. This study's contribution to research is embedded in the evaluation of an experiential learning model employed to training forensic interviewers to conduct effective interview from a person-centred perspective.
Problems experienced by detectives in the processing and utilisation of crime information at the Rustenburg detective unit, North West Province, South AfricaAuthor Doraval GovenderSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 112 –129 (2011)More Less
To achieve reduction in crime rates and an increase in detection rates, there should be an alternative to the traditional 'reactive' model of investigating crime. The use of information to investigate crime is not unique to modern times. Investigating crime includes not only the collection of crime information, but the processing and the utilisation of crime information, aspects usually neglected by investigators. This article provides an insight into the problems experienced by detectives in the processing and utilsation of crime information in the investigation of crime. These problems give rise to decrease in detection rates. Processing and utilisation of crime information has proven to be the most important components in the investigation of crime. The type of processes used, is largely determined by the assignment received by the Crime Information Analysis Centre (CIAC), which fulfills the crime information needs of the South African Police Service (SAPS). From time to time crime analysts are expected to perform some of the tasks associated with each of the crime analysis processes. The detailed, analytical processing of crime information can provide timely and relevant information for detectives to accurately determine the nature of criminal activities, predict crime occurrences and identify perpetrators responsible for crimes. The success of crime information processing is centered on its timely utilisation to investigate crime effectively. The purpose of the study was to determine the strengths and weaknesses in the processing and utilisation of crime information at the Rustenburg Detective Unit in the North West Province of South Africa.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 130 –143 (2011)More Less
The concept of community policing, in a symbiotic relationship with traditional policing by the South African Police Service, has been introduced more successfully in certain communities than others. The purpose of this article is to fill the gap in the literature by providing a review of a successful community policing case study. This case study illustrates the benefits of empowering communities to take ownership of community safety in South Africa and to explore how the concept of community policing, in particular neighbourhood watches, can effectively be put into practice. While previous studies have highlighted the role of the police in driving community policing, this article focuses on the role and contribution of communities themselves, and neighbourhood watches specifically, as effective vehicles of community policing and crime prevention. This article also illustrates an attempt to bridge gaps between academic theory and practice in the field of community policing. This case study demonstrates the development process of reflective practice and its contribution to a deeper understanding of community policing theory and the informative value of practice for further theory building. This article concludes with recommendations for communities and the police to optimise the use of neighbourhood watches as proactive community policing ventures.
Author Cherita MorrisonSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 24, pp 144 –153 (2011)More Less
This article examines the views and perceptions of police officials in the Vaalrand area of Gauteng, South Africa about community policing and Community Police Forums (CPFs). The study posed a number of questions to respondents regarding views on police implementation of community policing, what was their experience or involvement (if any) in its roll-out in their policing area, and solicited views on how to improve existing community policing initiatives in this area. A main conclusion of the research findings being that the police and the community should become more accessible to each other and strive to bridge the gap that traditional policing, as practised in South Africa, had caused.