The contribution of social work to the prevention of crime by the criminal justice system in the Western Cape

Magobotiti, Chris Derby (2001-04)

Thesis (M.A.)--Stellenbosch University, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study deals with crime prevention within the criminal justice system in response to the current crime situation in the Western Cape. It describes the structure and function of the criminal justice system and assesses crime prevention processes with specific reference to the role of social work within the criminal justice system. It further examines the criminal justice system as practised in the Western Cape, paying specific attention to the role of the police, criminal courts and prisons in the prevention of crime. In line with the nature of the study an exploratory approach was used. The data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Interviews and observations were the main research techniques used for gathering primary data. Secondary data + was gathered by means of a study of the literature. Structured and unstructured interviews were conducted with social workers, magistrates, police officers, prosecutors, victims, offenders, community workers and other officials of the criminal justice system. These interviews were mainly conducted at Wynberg magistrates' court, Drakenstein Prison (formerly known as Victor Verster Prison) and organisations based in the metro areas and on the Cape Flats. The study was conducted over a period of three years with the interview schedule administered between May and August 2000. A sample of 21 respondents was selected on the basis of a purposive approach and procedure. The comprehensive interview schedule consisted of mainly open-ended and a few closed questions, generating information on the profiles of respondents, crime dynamics in the Western Cape, the sentencing process and prevention strategies, matters related to the criminal justice system and corrections, and the role of community justice in the prevention of crime. The generated qualitative data was analysed and interpreted. The findings suggested the necessity for social work to make a contribution to the prevention of crime in a sensitive and proactive way. The analysis has shown that criminal justice approaches can significantly enhance the process of crime prevention, but that the criminal justice system requires combined strategies and approaches for crime prevention to be effective. It is in this context that the contribution of social work can be much more effective. The recommendations of the study have demonstrated a need for social workers to promote approaches that are premised on a broader understanding of the role of the criminal justice system in the prevention of crime. It is important to state that the study's recommendations for the prevention of .crirne can also be implemented by other role-players, particularly within the criminal justice system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie ondersoek handeloor misdaadvoorkoming deur die strafregstelsel in reaksie tot die huidige misdaadsituasie in-die Wes-Kaap. Dit beskryf die struktuur en funksie van die stafregstelsel en beoordeel misdaadvoorkomingsprosesse met besondere verwysing na die rol van maatskaplike werk binne die strafregstelsel. Dit ondersoek verder die strafregstelsel soos beoefen in die Wes-Kaap deur veral aandag te gee aan die rol van die polisie, die howe en gevangenisse in die voorkoming van misdaad. Die aard van die ondersoek vereis dat 'n eksplorerende benadering gevolg is. Data is versamel uit primêre sowel as sekondêre bronne. Onderhoude en waarnemings + was die hoof navorsingstegnieke wat gebruik is om primêre data te versamel. Sekondêre data is weer verkry deur 'n studie van die literatuur. Gestruktureerde en ongestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer met maatskaplike werkers, landdroste, polisie beamptes, openbare vervolgers, slagoffers, gevonnisde misdadigers, gemeenkapswerkers en ander beamptes van die strafregstelsel. Hierdie onderhoude is hoofsaaklik gevoer by die Wynbergse landdroshof, Drakenstein Gevangenis (voorheen Victor Verster Gevangenis) en organisasies werksaam in die metropolitaanse gebiede en die Kaapse Vlakte. Die ondersoek is onderneem oor 'n periode van drie jaar met die onderhoude gevoer tussen Mei en Augustus 2000. 'n Steekproef van 21 respondente is geselekteer op die grondslag van 'n doelgerigte benadering en prosedure. Die omvangryke onderhoudskedule bestaan uit oorwegend oop en 'n beperkte aantal geslote vrae, en het inligting gegenereer oor die respondent-profiel, misdaad-dinamika in die Wes-Kaap, die vonnisopleggingsproses en voorkomingstrategieë, sake rakende die strafregstelsel en korrektiewe optrede, en die rol van gemeenskapsreg in die voorkoming van suggereer die noodsaaklikheid daarvan vir maatskaplike werk om 'n bydrae te lewer ,- tot die voorkoming van misdaad op 'n sensitiewe en proaktiewe wyse. Die ontledings het aangetoon dat strafregbenaderings die proses van misdaadvoorkoming beduidend kan verhoog maar om misdaadvoorkoming effektief te laat geskied, vereis die strafregstelsel gekombineerde strategieë en benaderings. Dit is binne hierdie verband dat die bydrae van maatskaplike werk baie meer effektief kan wees. Die aanbevelings van die ondersoek wys op 'n behoefte by maatskaplike werkers om benaderings te bevorder wat gebaseer is op 'n breër begrip van die rol van die strafregstelsel in die voorkoming van misdaad. Dit is van belang om te stel dat die ondersoek se aanbevelings vir die voorkoming van misdaad ook geïmplementeer kan word deur ander rolspelers, veral binne die strafregstelsel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52500
This item appears in the following collections: