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- Volume 25, Issue 2, 2012
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 25, Issue 2, 2012
Volumes & issues
Volume 25, Issue 2, 2012
Author Francois SteynSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp I –VII (2012)More Less
Research is an essential component of any discipline. It contributes to the expansion of knowledge by, amongst others, developing and testing new theories, and facilitating insight to help solve problems. As is the case with other social sciences, a great deal of research is undertaken in the domains of Criminology, Policing and Security Studies, Penology, Victimology and Criminal Justice. One often wonders what happens to all the findings generated by these disciplines since research, as an academic endeavour, is expected to transform public policy and practices (Cherney & McGee, 2010: 157). It is argued that, because institutions of higher education receive funding from government, the knowledge which they generate should be used in organisations located outside of the scholarly and academic communities. A further tenet of this argument is that public policies must be evidence-based and that practices ought to be evaluated in an objective manner, a task generally expected of universities and independent research agencies (Amara, Ouimet & Landry, 2004: 76; Hillyard, Sim, Tombs & Whyte, 2004: 370). The ways in which social research can provide such a solid evidence-base are contested in terms of the types of evidence that are valued and in terms of the ways in which results are used in the policy-making process (Ritter, 2007: 70). Responses to crime and criminality necessitate strong policies and procedures to be effective. Given the high crime rate in South Africa, questions can rightfully be posed whether - and if so to what extent - the Criminological sciences are contributing to crime prevention and reduction policies and practices. From a critical perspective, it is equally important to ask whether the Criminological sciences should at all engage in applied, externally-funded research.
Author Monique MarksSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 1 –11 (2012)More Less
This article focuses on the ethics of doing research in dangerous or ethically compromising environments. It focuses on two ethnographic projects in South Africa: youth involvement in political violence and the transformation of the riot police. In this article I reflect on a number of ethical dilemmas that confront those of us who choose to go into the field and discover why violence occurs, and how social control works, from the inside. I explore a number of ethical dilemmas in this article: the slippery nature of informed consent; seeing things that are morally compromising; going native; and putting ourselves in dangerous situations. This article is written in a narrative and self-reflective form. The aim of the article is to stimulate discussion on ethical dilemmas in doing rough ethnographies, i.e. ethnographies in places and spaces that are not safe or comfortable for researchers.
Criminal thinking styles of offenders meeting the criteria for antisocial personalities in South AfricaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 12 –24 (2012)More Less
To increase our understanding of antisocial personalities in the South African context, this study aims to identify whether offenders meeting the criteria for antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), dissocial personality disorder (DPD) and psychopathy are more prone to thinking styles that sustain a criminal lifestyle. The Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS), the revised version of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI-R) and subscales measuring antisocial and dissocial personality disorder respectively from the DSM-IV and ICD-10 Personality Questionnaire (DIP-Q), were used to measure the extent of criminal thinking styles among 500 male maximum security offenders. The results indicate significant differences in the criminal thinking styles between participants meeting the criteria for ASPD and DPD and those not meeting the criteria for the disorders. These thinking styles contribute to the persistence of a criminal lifestyle and the possibility that the offenders will be reconvicted for additional crimes. Contrary to international research findings, psychopathic groups did not indicate any significant differences in criminal thinking styles. The results of this study warrant further investigation into the validity of international concepts in the South African context, as well as the lack of standardised measuring instruments.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 25 –36 (2012)More Less
The world's attention on piracy is focussed on the root causes, modus operandi, extent and prevention of this phenomenon. The complexity of the relationship between piracy and organised crime, however, is largely overlooked. Maritime piracy has undergone an evolutionary process, from its historical roots to the profitable organised businesses it is today. In this article it is argued that modern day pirates are sophisticated, well-resourced transnational criminal syndicates that have tapped into the huge economical potential of organised crime at sea. Due to the involvement of insurance companies, the negotiation process has become little more than a business transaction between the owners of the hijacked vessel and the pirates. In the case of uninsured smaller vessels, governmental policy not to negotiate with pirates has resulted in victims of piracy being alienated and isolated. The ransom money trail is frequently unnoticed because of limited resources, which impede the process by which the money trail is followed once such payments have been made to the pirates. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between piracy, organised crime and the criminal economy it feeds. This article focuses on kidnapping for ransom by pirates and uses the case study of the South African couple taken hostage during October 2010 to illustrate the negotiations process, connection between piracy and organised crime and the money trail.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 37 –49 (2012)More Less
Epidemiological Criminology (EpiCrim) represents an evolving multidisciplinary perspective which seeks to bring together scholars from criminology and the public health fields for the purpose of formulating an integrative understanding of crime and criminality (among other social ills). As the name implies, Epidemiological Criminology employs a variety of medical model metaphors by which to formulate its theoretical perspective. However, such a formulation is potentially threatened by the use of literal medical model conceptualisations that serve to restrict the theoretical possibilities of this approach. For example, by formulating crime as a disease of the social body, it fails to recognise that crime or criminal behaviour is symptomatic of an internal dysfunction and not proof of an external contagion. By re-contextualising this approach within a phenomenological frame of reference, the powerful conceptualisations employed by EpiCrim can be removed from an overly literalised presentation and their metaphorical implications more thoroughly explored. Using ancillary micro (Trayvon Martin) and macro (MS-13) illustrations, the utility and variability of EpiCrim is suggested.
Author Rudolph ZinnSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 50 –68 (2012)More Less
This article is based on the findings of a research project focussing on the design of a blue print plan for the establishment of a basic Community Safety Network (CSN). The article focuses on the rationale and establishment of CSNs and the key elements that provide for an effective CSN. The effectiveness of the CSN is not only evaluated in the sense of how well it is able to mobilise the community to prevent crime, but also on the basis of the longevity of the CSN. The key success elements that make up a successful CSN are evaluated in this article. These key success elements are discussed under partnerships with CSNs, actions performed by a CSN, critical factors in the crime prevention initiatives, the desired management structure, obstacles that had to be overcome in establishing the CSN, as well as the infrastructure, finances, technology and communication that is needed for an effective CSN. The article also focuses on the respondents' expectations of an ideal CSN, as well as a summary of a basic, advanced and professional model for a CSN.
Making the invisible visible : the presentation of electronic (cell phone) evidence as real evidence in a court of lawSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 69 –82 (2012)More Less
Previously when any crime, irregularities or transgressions were investigated and evidence was presented in a trial or hearing, it was based on the traditional methods and procedures. Today, evidence such as electronic mail (e-mail), electronic documents, spread sheets, cell phone technology and other formats of digital evidence is available as evidence for the prosecution. It appears that in South Africa the full potential and advantages offered to the criminal justice system by this technology have not been fully utilised. However, daily media reports indicate increased use of cell phone technology as evidence in criminal and civil prosecutions. Noting the advantages offered by cell phone evidence, research was conducted to determine its value. It was, however, discovered that cell phone evidence is not used as physical evidence in court cases but rather as circumstantial evidence. The primary aim was to determine, through exploratory research, whether an 'invisible' cell phone signal can be classified as physical evidence. By mapping a cell phone call, it was found that the invisible signal becomes visible and meets all the requirements for physical evidence. A proper exploration and understanding of the value of mapping cell phone calls and the presentation thereof as physical evidence will be to the advantage of the criminal justice system.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 25, pp 83 –90 (2012)More Less
For the past two decades, the South African Police Service has embarked on various measures and strategies to improve their capability in dealing with crime. Various pro-forma documents were developed to assist in this task. Most contained sound strategies on how the efficiency and effectiveness of the police could be enhanced to promote safety and security in the country (Department of Safety and Security, 1998). Even with these strategies in place, the police still do not seem to be getting on top in the fight against crime. This study was designed to determine the reasons for the failure of one of these policies and strategies to bring about the required results. As the scope and extent of this research could not cover all strategies that the South African Police Service have embarked upon to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency, the use of the SAPS modus operandi forms became the focus of this study. The study is related to a study that was conducted in 2008 to examine the managerial ability of police managers to supervise and manage members under their command (Masiloane, 2008). The focus of this study was to establish whether ineffectiveness on the part of the police in dealing with crime could be the result of ill-conceived strategies or the inability of the police to implement and monitor the developed strategies and policies at station level.