Recidivism among male trial-awaiting youth detained at Dyambu Youth Centre

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The study investigates the problem of recidivism amongst male trial-awaiting youth detained at Bosasa's Dyambu Youth Centre (DYC), to determine whether their experiences with the variables under investigation have in any way influenced them to consider changes in their attitudes towards criminal behaviour. The research design in this study followed both quantitative and qualitative methodological orientations .An interview schedule was constructed in advance and applied in a standardised manner and was administered by the researcher, face to face with each respondent. Data were analysed and presented both quantitatively and qualitatively. Findings in this study revealed that financial gain, drug addiction and peer pressure were the major driving forces and motivating factors that influenced the respondents to become repeatedly involved in criminal behaviour. Lack of a stable source of income, denial of re-admission at school, rejection by family and friends and lack of stable home and accommodation were some of the major factors that made reintegration into the community difficult for the respondents during the period after their previous release. The findings in this study point to inadequacy of services with regard to prevention of crime and recidivism amongst juvenile offenders. Re-integration and after-care services were identified as an area that is grossly neglected in the field of probation and in social work services generally. Nearly all the respondents reported that they would like to abandon their criminal lifestyle but the situations that they face and various other factors highlighted in the study drive them to crime. The predominant factors identified by the respondents as influential in encouraging abandonment of criminal activities include: a fear of heavy criminal record, disgracing the family, the acquisition of various skills and knowledge from DYC workshops and classes; and their own individual thinking.

Bibliography: leaves 108-113.