Beaten bad: The life stories of violent offenders

This monograph explores the reasons why crime in South Africa is so violent, and how it can be prevented.

In this monograph, readers will meet some of the men who are responsible for violent crime in South Africa. The narratives presented here are based on interviews with men who have been incarcerated for murder, robbery and rape. These accounts show that the foundation for their criminal careers was laid early in their lives and compounded by their experiences of loss, abuse and alienation. Readers are taken on a journey through their lives to understand why crime in South Africa is so violent, and what needs to be done to prevent it.

About the author

Chandre Gould is a senior researcher in the Governance, Crime and Justice division. She has a PhD in History from Rhodes University. Chandré is editor of the South African Crime Quarterly. Her areas of expertise are: biological weapons control and prevention; social crime prevention; human trafficking and criminal reform.

Development partners
This monograph was funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa and undertaken in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services. The ISS is grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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