n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Youth offenders’ perceptions on the components of the unit management approach : a case study of youth development centres in South Africa

Volume 30 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


The unit management approach was adopted by various correctional systems around the world in order to improve the supervision and treatment of incarcerated offenders. In South This approach was implemented in South Africa during 1995 and it was viewed as a vehicle for service delivery, as well as a strategic move to ensure that corrections and the rehabilitation of inmates were achieved. In an attempt to assess the implementation of unit management in Youth Development Centres, a descriptive study was conducted to evaluate the relationship of the components of unit management. A purposive sample of 379 incarcerated male youth offenders was selected to participate in this study. The findings revealed that inmates’ perceptions regarding the function of each component of unit management is influenced by various factors such as the length of the sentence, biographical attributes and the youth development centre where the sentence is served.

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