Recidivism amongst juvenile offenders in the Kroonstad Youth Centre : implications for social work services
January, Lindiwe Patience
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A certain percentage of young offenders are re-incarcerated after their first offence and they land back in jail to serve a further sentence. This implies that they could not find their feet back in society once they have been released and it signifies failure on the part of the correctional authorities to rehabilitate the young offenders successfully. Recidivism is a complicated phenomenon which is not easy to deal with as the correctional institutions often have no control over the circumstances outside the prison walls affecting the young offender. The overall goal of this research was to establish the circumstances leading to the re-arrest of the young offender in the Kroonstad Youth Centre in order to adjust the rehabilitation programmes if necessary. The data was collected by means of a focus group consisting of young offenders who have been re-arrested after the first offence. The young offenders could not accurately identify the circumstances leading to their re-arrests, but they could give an indication of the family and community circumstances under which they must live. This ranged from unstable family life to community conditions not conducive to their adjustment. It was also found that the lack of support in the form of outside NGO's to assist them with their adjustment once they left prison was a serious shortcoming. It was recommended that intervention with the youth offenders should be focused on teaching skills that will help them to adjust in the community after their release. It was also recommended that families be trained on how to deal with the behaviour of the youths who has violated the law.
- ETD@PUK