n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Children's perspectives on crime and the criminal justice system : main findings

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



This research paper is an exploratory pilot study aimed at accessing the views of children on the criminal justice system, their perceptions of how children in conflict with the law are treated, the impact that crime has on them, their schools, families and communities, and their suggestions on how these problems could be eliminated. The aim was to give the children the opportunity to share their views and perspectives, and to encourage decision-makers and policy-makers to take cognisance of what the children have to say. The survey was carried out through an open-ended questionnaire, administered to 529 children between the ages of 11 and 17 years. The only requirement for participation was the ability to read and write. The participating children were selected from 47 schools throughout the Gauteng Province. Seventy-nine (15%) questionnaires were completed by children who indicated that they have been in conflict with the law and 450 (85%) questionnaires were completed by children who indicated that they have not. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the children who participated in this pilot study clearly stated a need for training with regard to the criminal justice system (policing, the court proceedings, and the prison system). The rationale for training on topics relating to the criminal justice system is, according to 58% of the participants, to understand and prevent crime. The participants also recognised and accepted their responsibility to participate in actions to reduce crime.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error