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- Volume 18, Issue 1, 2005
Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Volume 18, Issue 1, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 18, Issue 1, 2005
Author Lillian ArtzSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp I –II (2005)More Less
Over the past decade, South African criminal justice has experienced a surge of criminal justice reforms in the form of new policies and legislation as well as accompanying developments in criminal jurisprudence and criminal justice practice. A significant part of recent law reform has also involved the development of policies and legislation that go beyond crime control, focusing on the rights and protection of vulnerable groups.
Child sexual abuse myth acceptance among helping professionals : the effect of gender and professional statusSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 1 –9 (2005)More Less
It is generally acknowledged that child sexual abuse myth acceptance among helping professionals has the potential for secondary victimisation. However, there have been few systematic attempts to explore the nature and extent of the problem. In this context, it seemed appropriate to examine the incidence of child sexual abuse myth acceptance in a representative sample of South African helping professionals (psychologists, social workers, and medical practitioners) and to identify factors that may mediate or moderate the extent of such myth acceptance.
A mail survey was used to examine the effect of gender and professional status on child sexual abuse myth acceptance in a probability sample of 165 social workers, 163 psychologists, and 156 medical practitioners. The major dependent measure used in the study was the Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale.
The data indicates that, across all levels of the independent measures considered in the study (i.e., gender and professional status), over 90 percent of respondents reported some degree of myth acceptance. After controlling for the effects of age and professional experience, male respondents reported greater myth acceptance than females. There was also a significant main effect of profession, with mean myth acceptance scores for medical practitioners being highest, scores for psychologists being lowest, and scores for social workers falling between the extremes of the other two groups.
Professional women as victims of emotional abuse within marriage or cohabitating relationships : a victimological studySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 10 –20 (2005)More Less
Although emotional abuse is a widespread and common form of violence amongst all cultures, it is seldom recognised as such by its victims. Researchers have identified a lack of research (especially in South African) pertaining to this phenomenon, in particular where the female partner is a professional in her field. A qualitative study, with 11 respondents (professional women) was conducted within the greater Pretoria area. The respondents were studied as victims of domestic violence by using components of theories, which were structured into a model, upon which an interview schedule was based. Researchers conducted a thorough literature survey (with reference to legal interventions pertaining to domestic violence), by making use of scientific books and articles to determine the nature and extent of the problem. For the purpose of this study the main concepts and terminology were defined in order clarify these for the reader and set definite criteria by which respondents were identified. An interview schedule based on themes identified for this study, was set in order to conduct the research effectively and gain in-depth knowledge of the experiences of the respondents. The subsequent characteristics of the relationships and experiences of the respondents were analysed in order to determine the nature of victimisation of the participant. Conclusions were drawn from the research in order to gain a clearer understanding of this phenomenon and ultimately contribute to the study field and make recommendations for further research.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 21 –39 (2005)More Less
Eyewitness testimony is often the most influential evidence that can be introduced in a legal proceeding. However, it is equally true that numerous variables can influence the witness's ability to accurately identify persons, remember events and provide reliable testimony. As many cases have been reported where people have been wrongfully convicted on the grounds of someone's eyewitness testimony, it is of the utmost importance that experts working in the crime and legal arena should always be well informed about new research and changing views in this field. The goal of this review article is therefore to provide the reader with the latest viewpoints and research findings in this regard. This is the first of two review articles on eyewitness testimony, this one concentrating on estimated variables, i.e. factors over which the criminal justice system exerts little or no control. The second article will focus on system variables, i.e. factors that are directly under the control of the criminal justice system.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 40 –53 (2005)More Less
The contemporary justice model has strong retributive undertones and is closely linked to the notion of just deserts. Since classical times, the seriousness of criminal actions of offenders' culpability has been the underlying philosophy of the justice model. Early classical and neo-classical schools of thought strongly influenced the call for determinate sentences and committal of offenders to correctional institutions, where they can "pay the price" for their deviant actions by serving sentences. The justice model has long been viewed as being inadequate to control crime, because it offers no hope for the future administration of justice.
Postmodern perspectives that actively pursue new paradigm shifts in the administration of justice are convinced that restitution, rather than retribution, would be a more sustainable option to address crime control in multicultural societies; through restorative justice based on acceptance of responsibilities by all role players, repentance, apology, forgiveness and reconciliation can be achieved.
This study empirically evaluates correctional officers' perceptions of certain aspects of restorative justice in seven correctional centers: Qalakabusha, Mtunzini, Eshowe, Ncome, Waterval, Westville and Sevontein in KwaZulu-Natal. Based on judgmental (purposive) sampling procedures, a competent sample of 401 arbitrarily selected respondents, representing all ranks, have been included in the analysis of data.
The sample (N=401), consisting of 65 percent male and 35 percent female respondents, comprises of African (59.4%), white (20.6%), Indian (12.5%) and coloured (7.5%) correctional officers. Restitution, through both victim compensation and community service, received positive support (66.2% and 72.0% respectively). Significant aspects relating to restorative justice have also been positively evaluated: it should, inter alia, be considered a viable option to alleviate prison overcrowding (57.6%) and a significant mechanism at parole board hearings (76.1%).
The significance of a criminological report in understanding contributory factors to aggressive and violent behaviour : a case study analysisAuthor A. Hesselink-LouwSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 54 –67 (2005)More Less
Whether for pre-sentencing and/or for custodial purposes, forensic (with the view of assisting the court) reports should contribute to the process of informed decision-making (Terblanche 1999:111-112). Factors that are already known to officials in the Criminal Justice System should be avoided and foci should rather be on the origin and onset of criminal behaviour, contributory factors to criminal behaviour, triggers, personal, social and environmental influences, personality traits, high-risk situations and the probability that such a person might re-offend. These factors should be sustained by recent and relevant research findings as well as a scientific, contemporary theoretical explanation (See for instance S v Manka, 2003 (2) SACR 515; S v Mokoena, 2003 (2) SACR 521).
Forensic reports can be utilised for both pre-sentence and custodial purposes. In South Africa, criminological reports are mostly used for presentencing purposes. However, this article argues that forensic reports can be utilised effectively for custodial purposes to contribute to an inter-disciplinary approach to offender management and rehabilitation where a proactive approach can no longer be applied. A case study pertaining to violent and aggressive behaviour is analysed from a criminological perspective. Relevant contributory factors, triggers, high-risk situations and intervention indicators are examined to assist correctional officials to understand and manage dangerous offenders. A scientific explanation is also provided to explain aggressive and violent behaviour. Furthermore, the contribution of peer victimisation to violent and aggressive behaviour is illustrated in this report.
Author N. Phaswana-MafuyaSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 68 –84 (2005)More Less
This review analyses, reconstructs and illustrates in great detail the reasons why drinking and driving prevention programmes fail. It demonstrates that the reasons are extremely complex, involving many factors that need to be addressed in the formulation, adoption, and adaptation of drinking and driving prevention programmes. From this review, critical factors that can help support the rational development of effective drinking and driving prevention programmes and several implications that are pertinent to programme design and implementation can be engendered. Almost unanimously, researchers contend that prevention programmes should: take into consideration the normative and cultural milieu in which drinking and driving occurs, should reach all youth, and should be introduced early prior to the development of a drinking and driving behavioural repertoire. Programmes should be comprehensive in addressing the broader correlates of drinking and driving behaviour, should reflect real-life situations, should be linked to a theory while combining didactic and experiential approaches. They should be developed, implemented and evaluated by the target group, and should consider the environment that shapes drinking and driving behaviour more carefully, while media messages should not send glamorous messages about alcohol as that encourages young people to use alcohol and consequently to drink and drive. This review has rekindle as its aim to a renaissance of thought in drinking and driving programme development which has implications for policy-makers, programme planners, academics, and practitioners in the field of alcohol and traffic safety in terms of policy formulation, programme development, curriculum development, and service delivery respectively. The information provided will hopefully enhance coherence, direction and focus in the area of alcohol and traffic safety.
Author A. MinnaarSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 85 –114 (2005)More Less
While not intending to rehash all the old international debates regarding public versus private policing, this article explores some aspects of this debate in South Africa regarding the role, if any, that the private security industry in South Africa can play in policing and crime prevention, albeit if only in some form of partnership with public policing authorities. The intention in this article is to look at the changed role that private security has begun to play in South Africa in many of the traditional public or state police spheres of operation irrespective of the lack of a formal framework for "partnership policing". Additionally it examines how co-operation in policing and crime prevention can be realised and made mutually beneficial to all roleplayers within the broad framework of a public-private partnership. The article also outlines a number of specific examples (City Improvement Districts, responding to alarms, CCTV, vehicle tracking and recovery, private investigations) where "infiltration" into the sphere of policing and substantial growth of private policing functions has occurred and accelerated over the last few years.
Source: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 115 –125 (2005)More Less
South Africa is a traumatised society where crime in all its various forms is becoming an increasing crisis. The threat of crime and the accompanying victimisation affect the quality of life of all South Africans. Farm attacks showed a steep increase over the last couple of years, despite increasing safety precautions taken by farmers. Farm attacks increased at a tempo far beyond the increase in other forms of crime. This article endeavours to provide a theoretical perspective on farm attacks by focusing on the various forms and characteristics of, as well as motives for and consequences of farm attacks.
The various forms of farm attacks identified, are detainment, armed robbery, violent attacks, murder and vehicle hijacking. The characteristics of farm attacks include aspects such as calculated military precision, the presence of strangers in the area, black and white farmers as victims, gang activities, threats, vulnerability, the status of the victim, false identification, ambuscade, arson, the time of attack and organised crime. The culture of violence, poverty, unemployment, hardship, retaliation, hatred, negative working relationships, illegal immigrants, the availability of firearms, political motives, land claims, intimidation and frustration are all cited as motives for farm attacks. In addition to economic consequences, farm attacks also have political and psycho-social consequences.
Author W. NaudeSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 126 –139 (2005)More Less
Poverty and inequality may only be a partial, and even minor, explanation for South Africa's relative high rates of crime. The latter may, in part, be due to male intrasexual competition in a country where there is a large proportion of younger persons (within the prime reproductive age) and single males in the population. Moreover, the interaction of these factors with environmental conditions such as a stratified community, lower the life expectancy and marital instability, would tend to raise crime rates. To test the significance of these predictions panel data covering the period 1996 to 2000 across all nine of South Africa's provinces, was used to fit a dynamic panel data regression model of the determinants of five major types of serious crime, using the Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) estimator proposed by Arellano and Bond. It was found that once the proportion of the population who falls within the prime reproductive age has been controlled, poverty, income and inequality do not turn out to be as robustly significant in determining crime in South Africa, as in some other studies. The variable with the most significant effect on crime was found to be the proportion of young persons in a province's population. Amongst the more traditional variables, only educational status and police per population (deterrence) remained overall significant in determining (lowering) crime levels.
Churches as service providers for victims of sexual and / or violent crimes. A case study from the Paarl communitySource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 140 –163 (2005)More Less
The reality and influence of sexual violence and crime is enormous and already proving to have devastating effects. Some call the disregard for human life a feature of a culture of violence. The Unit for Religion and Development Research (URDR) has embarked on a major initiative to research the social development needs of local communities and to empower faith-based organisations (FBOs) to play an active and effective role in alleviating poverty and meeting the needs of the people.
Neither government nor any other NGO can reach and influence the public more regularly and consistently than FBOs can. They offer social support and channel a large amount of volunteer activity. They might do this independently, but often these services are rendered directly or indirectly in partnership with other organisations. However, the capacity and involvement of the FBOs in communities have not yet been quantified. Christian organisations will be taken as an example of such engagement in this article.
Given the situation of violence and the potential of Christian churches to impact positively on the situation, the following question was formulated for the Church and Community Research Project in Paarl, Western Cape: What are Christian churches of all denominations in Paarl doing to provide services to address unemployment, HIV / Aids, sexual and/or violent crimes, and substance abuse? A pilot study was launched in 2001 in the Paarl/Mbekweni area, where all places of worship were mapped using global Positioning System (GPS) technology; 10 percent of households were surveyed by means of a questionnaire; and a questionnaire was distributed to some members of the leadership of congregations. In conducting this research, people from the community itself were trained in research methodology in order to gather the data.
The obtained data were put into a geodatabase, indicating that all data are related to a specific geographical location. The geodatabase was coupled to a Geographical Information System (GIS), which makes it possible to produce maps displaying spatial variation in the data. Thus, this article firstly describes and examines the results of the pilot project in Paarl regarding sexual and/or violent crimes, specifically against women and children. Secondly, the article describes a possible process to define where strategic intervention is necessary. This process entails the analysis of primary and secondary data in a GIS in order to identify areas most in need and the relevant role players in the area to address the problem.
Justice Gained? Crime & Crime Control in South Africa's transition, B. Dixon & E. van der Spuy : book reviewSource: Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology 18, pp 164 –168 (2005)More Less