Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SA Crime Quarterly]]> vol. num. 68 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Persistent failures and one victory?</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>'You go to campus with fear and come back with fear'. University students' experiences of crime</b>]]> In view of reports in the media on the spate of crimes plaguing South African universities, a qualitative study was conducted regarding the experience of crime by students from one urban-based university. The research formed part of a group project in which fourth-year social work students each conducted five interviews with students who were not their friends. Consistent with routine activity theory, students who were interviewed appeared to be vulnerable targets with a lack of guardianship, who were preyed on by motivated offenders. The most common crimes included theft of laptops and cell phones, and robberies at their places of accommodation. In line with cognitive behavioural theory, the crime encounter had profound psychological, financial and academic consequences for students. Students endeavoured to cope with the trauma of crime by adopting a variety of cognitive and behavioural strategies. Students' recommendations for enhancing safety included universities increasing security measures through increasing patrols and CCIV surveillance cameras, and students adopting self-protection measures such as walking in groups, being more vigilant, and not walking with headphones on. These 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. <![CDATA[<b>Decolonising incarcerated women's identities. Looking through the lens of prison abolitionism</b>]]> Criminological discourses among people of African descent globally continue to suffer from a crisis of application of Western explanatory frameworks with gross implications for the development of African-centred epistemologies and frameworks. One of the central arguments in this paper is that criminological discourses, specifically on class-specific, racialised-gendered identities of incarcerated women, are not free of the colonial matrices of power that underpin imperialism. What will emerge in this article is that incarcerated women's identities should be reconstructed as women's criminalisation continues to be framed and presented in monolithic law-and-order ways. A focus on reconstruction is important to decolonise women's imprisonment by imperialist, white supremacist patriarchy, particularly focusing on how their pluralistic identities, which often collude and collide, shape their trajectories in unpredictable and criss-crossing ways to subject them to criminalisation. An analysis of case studies presented in this article will reveal how Black 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 underlying question therefore is: how can incarcerated women's identities be reconstructed to challenge the hegemony of the western canon in criminology? <![CDATA[<b>Towards transforming a system. Re-thinking incarceration for youth (and beyond)</b>]]> Rethinking crime and punishment, especially with regard to youth,1 is a priority for South Africa; a country with high crime rates, recidivism and an overburdened criminal justice system. The present punitive and retributive system often only exacerbates many underlying causes of crime and violence, especially in young people. The failure of the existing system suggests that the time is right for a paradigm shift in society's response to crime and punishment. A challenge to implementing any alternative justice model is to ensure that it does not continue to prop up the under-resourced, overburdened and dysfunctional criminal justice system it seeks to reform. The current systemic crisis demands radical reform, not merely adopting a few well-meaning tweaks to a broken system. This article argues that the system and its various forms (including residential options but with an emphasis on community-owned interventions) need to be both trauma-informed and infused with an ethos of restorative justice. We articulate our explanations with youth as the focus and make proposals in light of this and suggest a path towards implementation. <![CDATA[<b>Sally Gandar and Popo Mfubu</b>]]> On 19 June 2019, one day before World Refugee Day, the Western Cape High Court handed down judgment in a case brought by the University of Cape Town's Refugee Rights Unit on behalf of the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, which sought to improve the lives of thousands of asylum-seeking families across South Africa. The order, which was made after successful negotiations with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA/The Department) 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'. This aspect of the Refugee Act - outlined at section 3(c) - means that refugee families can be documented together, ensuring their rights to family unity and dignity in South Africa. The order confirms a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that had been agreed on by the applicants and DHA. The SOPs allow for refugees to apply to be documented (either through family joining or on their own grounds) upon provision of certain documents, where possible, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate or affidavit (in the absence of such documents) - regardless of where the marriage or birth took place. Family joining can now also be completed regardless of whether the dependents in question were included in the applicant's original asylum application or not. The SOPs also provide for DNA testing as a measure of last resort to confirm the validity of parents' claim over their child. These changes mean that asylum-seeking and refugee families can now fulfil their right to access documentation in South Africa. Kelley Moult spoke to Sally Gandar, the Head of Advocacy and Legal Advisor for the Scalabrini Centre, and Popo Mfubu, an attorney at the Refugee Rights Unit, about the ground-breaking case.