The lecturer is Professor Shanta Balgobind Singh and the graduates are Dr Patrick Bashizi Bashige Murhula and Dr Samuel Fikiri Cinini, who were awarded doctoral degrees from the discipline of Criminology and Forensic Studies in the School of Applied Human Sciences.
Both studies focused on pertinent and contemporary issues facing the South African criminal justice system.
Murhula’s study was titled: A Criminological Investigation into the South African Correctional Services Approach Towards Offenders’ Rehabilitation: A Case Study of the Westville Correctional Centre (WCC) in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The work examined the SA Department of Correctional Services (DCS) constitutional mandate to provide rehabilitation programmes, which address the criminal conduct of offenders.
‘The rehabilitation approach currently used to deliver this mandate is grounded on a needs-based model where dynamic factors associated with recidivism are systematically targeted in treatment of offenders’ criminal behaviours,’ said Murhula. The South African rehabilitation approach at the Westville Correctional Centre was used as the case study.
Murhula believes that the lack of requisite skills to implement rehabilitation programmes is a stumbling block to the efficacy of the programmes in place and implementation of the rehabilitation policy. The study also reveals that some Correctional Centre officials mandated to facilitate rehabilitation programmes did not understand the concept. Lack of programme integrity was considered as another major weakness for the implementation of the rehabilitation approach at the WCC.
‘Correctional Centre staff members are key players in offenders’ rehabilitation and reform in that they must correctly implement all the policy-defined interventions intended to assist offenders. There is a need to re-align the rehabilitation efforts at the WCC with the interests and unique needs of offenders for behavioural change,’ said Murhula. ‘As long as the DCS does not succeed in providing correctional officials with a working environment conducive to the rehabilitation of offenders, rehabilitation will remain a challenge.’
Cinini’s research was titled: A Criminological Analysis on the Safety and Security of African Foreign Nationals in Durban, South Africa. The research was undertaken to explore threatening factors and experiences faced by foreign nationals with regard to their safety and security in the city of Durban, South Africa.
‘The safety and security of African foreign nationals are threatened by constant fear owing to experiences of violence and discrimination, and social exclusion marked by anti-immigrant attitudes by some local citizens,’ said Cinini. ‘This calls for the re-definition of the concept “xenophobia” from a criminological perspective. Local authorities, community members and the government need to come together in association with foreign nationals’ representatives and re-think possibilities of social integration and cohesion.’