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A critical analysis of gangsterism in South African correctional centres : the case of Barberton management area

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dc.contributor.advisor Muthaphuli, Phumudzo Nel, Sarah Lettie 2017-08-31T12:31:42Z 2017-08-31T12:31:42Z 2017-02 2017-08-31
dc.identifier.citation Nel, Sarah Lettie (2017) A critical analysis of gangsterism in South African correctional centres : the case of Barberton, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description.abstract Prison gangs are currently rife in South African correctional centres. Correctional officers and fellow offenders are frequently attacked by gang members, facilities are damaged and inmates are injured or killed in fights or during fires in correctional centres. Severe gang violence occurred at the Polls moor and Rustenburg correctional facilities at the end of 2016 and inexperienced correctional officers lacked the expertise to suppress the violence. This state of affairs necessitates further study into the management of prison gangs. Given the above background, this study aimed to examine how correctional facilities can suppress gang activity. The study provides an overview of the history of gangs in South Africa and shows how community gangs spread to prisons. This is followed by a meticulous documentation of the different elements of gang culture by means of observation in an effort to arm future correctional officers with knowledge regarding gangs. The findings of the observation revealed that gangs each have a unique way of greeting, using hand gestures, tattoos and verbal greetings. These communicative acts can be used as part of a strategy to prevent new offenders from becoming involved in gang activity. The observational research was confirmed by means of qualitative research. The experiences of gang members were examined by means of questionnaires to better understand the dynamic. The qualitative study was conducted at four correctional facilities, namely a maximum, medium A and medium B facility and a town youth facility. These different facilities ensured that all age groups were represented. Questionnaires were distributed to offenders who voluntarily consented to participating in the research. The literature study showed that South Africa has good legislature and policies in place, but that they have to be implemented more strictly and that the correctional officers have to be empowered by an increase in human resources and funding. In addition to capacity building, the strategic framework presented as part of the study suggests that supervision of gang members should be sharpened by for instance reconsidering the lay-out of correctional facilities. Gang members should be involved in rehabilitation programmes, which are frequently available, but not implemented. Correctional officers should be trained to manage gang members and legislation and policies should be revised frequently, as criminals tend to adjust their modus operandi continuously. The suggested framework can be of great value to the Department of Correctional Services, as managing gang activity in correctional centres can greatly change the efforts of the department to rehabilitate offenders. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xx, 181 leaves) : illustrations (1 color) en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Correctional services en
dc.subject Gangs en
dc.subject Offenders en
dc.subject Gang cultures en
dc.subject Correctional centre en
dc.subject Rehabilitation en
dc.subject.ddc 365.6410968273
dc.subject.lcsh South Africa. Department of Correctional Services en
dc.subject.lcsh Prison gangs -- South Africa -- Barberton en
dc.subject.lcsh Prison violence -- South Africa -- Barberton en
dc.subject.lcsh Correctional personnel -- Training of --South Africa -- Barberton en
dc.subject.lcsh Correctional institutions -- South Africa -- Barberton -- Safety measures en
dc.subject.lcsh Prison administration -- South Africa -- Barberton en
dc.title A critical analysis of gangsterism in South African correctional centres : the case of Barberton management area en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Corrections Management en M. Tech. (Correctional Services Management)

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