Nicro News

NICRO Responds to Crime Stats indicating South Africans are Under Siege

The recent release of the crime statistics report, which details crime levels in South Africa between April 1, 2016 and March 31 this year, has once again solicited mixed reactions from Government, political parties and civil society.

The Making of a Criminal: Part 2

We are delighted to invite you to participate in our exciting events we are hosting at the Artscape Theatre from 28 to 30 September.

Confessions of a Shoplifter

I started shoplifting when I was six years old.

Youth should be treated differently from adults. Research on adolescent brain development does not provide an excuse for culpability, but it shows that youth are amenable to treatment in ways that adults are not. Additionally, given what we know about the development of the adolescent brain, how it processes risks and rewards, deterrence through the threat of incarceration is likewise ineffective at controlling the behavior of youth. Therefore, prison is never an effective punishment for youth.

Prisons cannot provide the rigorous rehabilitation that the juvenile justice system affords youth. Prisons generally do not require that correctional officers receive appropriate training to deal with youth populations, nor do they offer training on the social, emotional or psychological needs of young people. Further, the consequences of using prison as punishment for youth include higher rates of recidivism, further increases in societal harm, and repeated expenses from paying for offenders to continue cycling through the justice system.

It is also dangerous to assert that a young person sent to prison will become a lifelong criminal. However, there are certainly lifelong consequences to being incarcerated rather than treated in the juvenile justice system. The survival skills that youth (and adults, for that matter) learn in prison — self-preservation at all costs, using violence to resolve conflicts and legitimizing domination and retaliation — are the polar opposite of the skills necessary to survive in society on the outside. Prison does not teach those skills that youth need to be functioning members of society, like how to resolve conflict without violence, how to get what you want through hard work rather than just taking it and how to work with others.

The juvenile justice system was created to treat young offenders, who have an increased capacity to change, in a system that provides proper rehabilitative services that can transform youth into productive members of society. This purpose is precluded when youth are housed in prisons, where they face more danger, a higher risk of re-offending and less chance for success after they are released.

 

NICRO is committed to turning lives around - We encourage all South Africans not to stand back, but become involved either by donating a monthly amount, a once-off donation or look at the NICRO wish list for support in kind for around the country and see how you can assist.