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- Volume 28, Issue 1, 2015
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 28, Issue 1, 2015
Volumes & issues
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2015
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 1 –11 (2015)More Less
It has been observed internationally that poor mental health is predominant amongst prisoners in correctional centres or prisons, compared to the general population. Despite various intense debates on the subject, it can be concluded that there is sufficient consensus that persons suffering from mental health disorders are more at risk to engage in offending behaviour and recidivism. Mental disorders rarely manifest in a "pure" form and psychiatric comorbidities are common. Other mental health disorders are especially aggravated by comorbid substance abuse disorders or symptoms thereof. International findings regarding the interaction between mental health disorders, offending behaviour and incarcerated offenders suffering from predominant mental health disorders was conducted and compared to empirical results gained from a South African sample of offenders diagnosed with mental health disorders. International observations pertaining to the nature of predominant mental health disorders amongst serious offenders, comorbid mental health disorders and the extended sentences these offenders tend to serve have been confirmed by research conducted by the authors.
An assessment of the needs of police officials regarding trauma and trauma intervention programmes : a quantitative approachSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 12 –29 (2015)More Less
As a result of the critical nature of police officials' work, it is of utmost importance that they have direct access to support. The efficacy of the present trauma intervention programmes in the South African Police Service (SAPS) are questioned, because despite the implementation of these programmes, police officials still present high levels of acute and behavioural problems. The objective of this article was to explore the uniqueness of the South African Police Service as a profession, by discussing the continuum of trauma and stress, from the traumatic incidents, basic psychological symptoms, coping mechanisms the exhibition of pathological responses and the experience of trauma intervention programmes in the SAPS. This exploration is important to create guidelines and to make certain recommendations with regard to client-focused programmes for police officials attached to the specialist units in the North-West Province. For purposes of this article, the researcher will firstly concentrate on the problem statement with reference to trauma exposure and trauma intervention programmes in the SAPS, where after the purpose of the study will be explained. The researcher then presents a summary of the research methodology applicable to this study. This article is part of a preliminary study (situation analysis and information collection) that will form the basis for the development, implementation and evaluation of a client-oriented psychosocial therapeutic trauma intervention programme, within the context of the SAPS.
The limits to tolerance : an examination of the traditional rite of passage of the Xhosa tribe in South AfricaAuthor Chadley JamesSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 30 –38 (2015)More Less
Ideologies are inextricably linked to thoughts and behaviours. They shape the beliefs and/or the assumptions people have on specific issues. Some ideologies may become so imperative as to be destructive, blinding individuals or groups to behaviours that cause damage and unnecessary suffering. This paper analyses the traditional rite of passage of the Xhosa tribe in South Africa, its evolution into a money-making venture and the ongoing, coercive threat it poses to young Xhosa males. A rite originally intended to socialise and define individuals as adults has devolved into one that victimises and causes unnecessary suffering. Rooted in a human rights ideology, the paper argues that the limits to tolerance based on a respect for tribal customs must be clear, particularly in cases of unnecessary suffering where fundamental human rights are violated.
Creating therapeutic communities for the treatment of substance-dependent offenders within South African correctional centres : a lesson from Sheridan Correctional Centre, Illinois, USAAuthor Michelle OvensSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 39 –49 (2015)More Less
Many practical difficulties present themselves in the treatment or management of the drug offender in a correctional setting and even more so in a South African Correctional Centre. For many drug offenders, prison is an alien and confusing environment which makes the treatment of their drug dependency all the more difficult, they do not necessarily select to be in the correctional environment, it is difficult to involve the individual in treatment, and correctional official or social workers find it difficult to handle and treat this category of inmate. Many criminal justice systems worldwide have given up on the rehabilitation of inmates as a result of the belief that 'nothing works'. However, after the success of the Sheridan studies preliminary findings document the fact is that 'treatment works.' According to Olson, Rapp, Powers and Karr (2006) as the Sheridan programme reaches capacity and as participants are released in larger numbers to the community, the challenges are the co-ordination and balance of participant needs, reintegration into the community and public safety concerns. A further aspect that exacerbates the treatment of this category of offender is that therapeutic efforts need to target not one but two problems that need to be addressed and dealt with, namely the offender's drug abuse and criminality. Therefore it is necessary to address this multidimensional problem from a therapeutic perspective and any initiatives must be based upon cognitive restructuring of the thought processes of the drug offender. In September 2011 the researcher visited the Sheridan Correctional Centre where the administration process of the facility was assessed, and the researcher joined the therapeutic sessions and participated therein. This paper examines the obstacles faced by the South African Department of Correctional Services when dealing with incarcerated drug-dependent offenders and draws upon the lessons from Sheridan's therapeutic community setting and cognitive restructuring programmes as a possible solution. It also provides protocols for the handling of drug offenders in correctional facilities based upon the latter philosophy.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 50 –66 (2015)More Less
Workplace bullying (WPB) is a complex phenomenon that impacts on an organisation's productivity. In the context of schools, WPB of educators thus has the potential to impact on the quality of education in a country; yet research on the bullying of educators by their colleagues is scant. In order to address the problem in schools, not only do we need to understand the phenomenon, but we also need to be aware of who the likely victims are. This study aims to provide some understanding of the differences in the experiences of educators in various biographical categories. Using Bronfenbrenner's ecosystems theory as a theoretical lens, the information obtained from a sample of 999 educators who took part in a survey, indicated that male educators are more likely to be targeted than female educators. Educators teaching in schools in informal settlements of South Africa also seem to be more vulnerable to bullying. These and other insights gained in this study, can contribute to a better comprehension of the phenomenon, which is a prerequisite for addressing WPB in schools.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 67 –76 (2015)More Less
The numbers of incarcerated female offenders in South Africa remains statistically insignificant compared to their male counterparts. This may be one of the main reasons why the subject of female criminality in Africa and Southern Africa in particular is still a neglected research focus area. Despite the fact that the extent of female offending behaviour compares statistically insignificant compared to those of men, the number of women incarcerated in South Africa, as elsewhere in the world, has increased over the past number of years. The current study is an exploration of the profile and criminal involvement of a convenience sample of incarcerated female offenders, who volunteered to be part of the study, in two correctional centres in Gauteng, South Africa. Gauteng contains the largest portion of the sentenced female offender population and is also the main economic region, as well as the most densely populated area in South Africa.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 77 –87 (2015)More Less
This theoretical paper explores some prevailing discourses surrounding serial murder and that the existing debates surrounding serial murder, which adopted a singular theoretical focus, have offered one dimensional conceptualisations of the phenomenon. This singular focus has also permeated through to offender profiling practices which have been found to have limited empirical value. Within this discourse the argument is made that a clearer, integrated understanding of the personality development of serial murderers as well as the influence of the situational and environmental context on individual behaviour would be more consistent with contemporary conceptualisations of personality and behaviour. A psychosocial perspective is discussed which approaches the individual and exhibits behavioural patterns as being a product of both internal psychological processes and multiple situational, contextual, and environmental points of connection.
Predisposed police culture attitudes : South African Police Service versus Justice Institute of British ColumbiaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 88 –111 (2015)More Less
This article aims to report on a comparative examination of South African Police Service' (SAPS) and Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Police Academy newcomers, for indicators evincing the presence of police culture themes of isolation, solidarity and cynicism. Using a survey format, the research employs a quasi-experimental pre-test (first phase of a larger longitudinal study) design. Although there is significant variance among the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Police Academy newcomers, overall there are indicators of solidarity, isolation and cynicism present among SAPS recruits upon arrival for basic training, however, less so for the JIBC Police Academy recruits, especially in relation to the cynicism theme. The findings suggest that newcomers from both the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Police Academy arrive for basic training with already moderate attitudes in support of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. It is contended that recruits' views are largely in place upon hiring and that the police occupation attracts people with certain values and attitudes similar to characteristic police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism. This finding also has theoretical importance in that it provides empirical support for the predispositional school of thought which believes that police officer behaviour can primarily be explained by the personality characteristics (traits), values and attitudes that the individual had prior to being employed by a police organisation. This article reports on a comparison of police culture themes of solidarity, isolation and cynicism attitudes between the South African Police Service' (SAPS) and Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) Police Academy newcomers at the start of basic training.
Author Willem J. ClackSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 112 –127 (2015)More Less
The development of social media in South Africa and the use of social media in general by the criminal justice system will firstly be discussed and then the focus will move to the role of the social media in solving livestock theft crime. Formal social networks are explored and analysed within the context of a social networks analysis. The purpose of the article is to determine if social media networks in collaboration with more formal social networks contribute to the apprehension of the offenders as well as involving other related information that could lead to reduction in livestock theft. This entails an exploration of the various formal and informal social networks and their successes and failures in the solving of livestock theft crimes. The forming of the social media group for one specific crime is unique in the world and could seriously contribute to the changes in social policies within the criminal justice system. Case studies from the social media group on Facebook are used to illustrate how social media was used to identify possible livestock theft suspects and the interrelationships between the various role-players. This would include the community at large who contributed to the apprehension of offenders, locating of stolen livestock and the identification and tracking of owners. The case studies are compared in order to identify possible common denominators that influence the relationships and trust between the public and the roleplayers in the criminal justice system, the relationships between organised agriculture and the criminal justice system and lessons to be learnt from these experiences.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 28, pp 128 –159 (2015)More Less
The private security industry plays an ever increasing role in protecting people and assets globally. The use of force in the private security environment is an area of concern for many groups and individuals. Role-players range from individual officers, who may have to put their lives in harmâ??s way whilst carrying out their duties, to regulators tasked with enforcing legislative compliance. There are various points of view and levels of concern regarding use of force by private security officers. Incidents where innocent civilians were killed by private security contractors are of most concern but equally, incidents involving crowd controllers (colloquially referred to as 'bouncers' or 'doormen') who may use force on a nightly basis to manage rowdy patrons, are just as important (and sometimes just as lethal). With the roles of traditional policing and the private security industry becoming more inter-related every day, the use of force by the private security industry cannot be ignored. The core concerns regarding use of force are twofold. Firstly is the issue of the use of excessive force and secondly is the need to constantly enhance the safety levels for all parties (security officers, assailants and innocent bystanders). Addressing these concerns is impossible without a systematic structure that ensures officers are adequately trained and equipped for the job-related activities that they must conduct. This research indicated the need not only for an integrated system of training and acclimatisation (familiarisation) to the use of force, but also for a model of assessment that measures use-of-force competency. The perishable nature of use-of-force skills means that training should expand to include on-going refresher and skills training as well as regular competency assessments. The need to train officers for the 'real thing' is of paramount importance. They need to be taught to manage adrenal response in order to perform effectively under the extreme duress of an attack situation. Existing force continua provide guidelines for use-of-force but fail to provide recommendations on how officers should be trained to actually apply the guidelines (in physical and psychological terms) that most continua prescribe.