SACQ is published in partnership with the Centre for Criminology at the University of Cape Town. To access individual articles, refer to the table of contents below.
Eleanor Ross and Shahana Rasool examine the experience of crime among students at a large urban university in Gauteng. Using interview data, the article shows that, consistent with routine activity theory, the students appeared to be vulnerable targets, who were preyed on by motivated offenders under conditions of a lack of guardianship. The authors argue that the recommendations for enhancing guardianship on the part of university protection services and police, coupled with self-protection strategies on the part of students, can potentially reduce the risks of students becoming targets of criminal offenders.
Nontyatyambo Pearl Dastile and Biko Agozino’s article, based on interviews with 55 incarcerated women, argues that women’s experiences of womanhood in the criminal justice system are shaped by race, gender and class which produce different forms of subjectivities and embodied selves. The authors show how the women do not have fixed identities given differences across race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality, nationality and (dis)ability, and how particularly racialised, gendered and class inequalities impact their identities, positions and their own modes of survival, as well as those of their children.
In their comment and analysis piece, Lisa Marqua-Harries, Grant Stewart and Venessa Padayachee argue that South Africa urgently needs to rethink crime and punishment, especially with youth, pointing out that simply ‘adopting a few well-meaning tweaks to a broken system’ falls well short of the kind of paradigm shift that is required. Instead, they argue that the system should be completely reformed into one that is trauma-informed, infused with an ethos of restorative justice, and that emphases community-owned interventions to respond to, and reduce the crime problem.
In ‘On the record’ Sally Gandar, the Head of Advocacy and Legal Advisor for the Scalabrini Centre, and Popo Mfubu, an attorney at the Refugee Rights Unit, talk about a recent judgment on refugee rights that means that wives, husbands, children and other dependents of asylum-seekers and refugees are now able to document themselves in South Africa as ‘dependents’ of the principle asylum applicant in a process commonly known as ‘family-joining.’
The state of the nation's crime
Commentary and analysis
Towards transforming a system: re-thinking incarceration for youth (and beyond)
Lisa Marqua-Harries, Grant Stewart, Venessa Padayachee
On the Record
Sally Gandar and Popo Mfubu