While crime on the whole is a matter of grave concern in South Africa, crime involving juvenile offenders is particularly so and it is on the rise. Sexual offences among children are occurring more frequently, and children are increasingly being trafficked and used as sex workers or slaves. Despite specific laws having been promulgated to protect them, sexual abuse of children and neglect are rife, with many children growing up in a very unforgiving environment that never allows them the opportunity to develop morally according to the prescriptions of a democratic society. Child and youth misbehaviour in South Africa addresses the complex and poorly understood phenomenon of juvenile misbehaviour. It discusses and analyses various theories on the nature and causes of aberrant behaviour, and assesses them critically with regard to their applicability to South Africa.
In order to understand the youth misbehaviour problem as it manifests in this country, it is essential that the position of youths be understood. Solutions may be found by considering the following:
- The difficulty in demarcating the position of children in South Africa
- The local risk factors associated with juvenile misbehaviour
- The effective processing and treatment of youthful offenders by the South African criminal justice system
- Preventive measures based on constitutional guidelines
Child and youth misbehaviour in South Africa is aimed at enabling both practitioners and students to address the plight of the South African youth in a constructive way and so become part of creating a safer South Africa for its people.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout is a professor of Criminology at the University of Pretoria where he teaches Psychocriminology, Criminal Justice and Contemporary Criminology at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as coordinating the criminology honours degree programme and supervising several postgraduate studies.
SECTION A YOUTH MISBEHAVIOUR: ITS NATURE, EXTENT, RELATED RISK FACTORS AND EXPLANATIONS
Chapter 1 Introduction and terminology dilemma
Chapter 2 A historical perspective of the youth offender
Chapter 3 The nature and extent of child and youth misbehaviour in South Africa
Chapter 4 Criminogenic risk factors for youth offenders
Chapter 5 The socio-moral redirection of troubled youth
Chapter 6 Traditional theoretical explanations for youth misbehaviour
Chapter 7 Contemporary theoretical explanations for youth misbehaviour
Chapter 8 A historical overview of approaches to understanding female youth misbehaviour
SECTION B YOUTH IN CONTACT WITH CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Chapter 9 The prevention and control of youth misbehaviour in South Africa
Chapter 10 Diversion
Chapter 11 Juvenile offenders in South African criminal law
Chapter 12 The Child Justice Act: practice and procedure
SECTION C EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH PERTAINING TO YOUTH AT RISK
Chapter 13 Child trafficking in South Africa
Chapter 14 Child prostitution
Chapter 15 Consequences of childhood victimisation
Chapter 16 Concluding thoughts Glossary
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