Justice gained?: crime and crime control in South Africa's transition

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Bill Dixon, Elrena Van der Spuy
UCT Press, 2004 - Social Science - 266 pages
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Ten years into South Africa's new democracy, crime and what should be done about it are the subject of endless debate. Arguments rage about everything from the accuracy of the country's crime statistics to the state of its prisons. But why is crime such a persistent problem? How have patterns of offending changed over the course of South Africa's transition to democracy? And how have crime control practices altered in response to the challenges of the post-apartheid era? Justice Gained? Sets out to answer theses questions by providing a critical commentary on some key issues in contemporary South African criminology. Written by authors with extensive experience as teachers, researchers, policy advisers and practitioners, the essays challenge some of the received wisdoms re-emerging in a discipline in danger both of forgetting its own history, and of misunderstanding the role of critical social science in a democratic South Africa. Contributions are written in a deliberately accessible style and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. They make essential reading for policy-makers and practitioners, as well as for students in criminology, law and across the social sciences. Justice Gained? will also be of interest to comparative criminologists and all those concerned with the study of societies in transition.

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Contents

OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM 29
GUNS AND PUBLIC POLICY IN SOUTH AFRICA 58
MURDER AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AFTER APARTHEID 83
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About the author (2004)

Bill Dixon is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Head of the School of Sociology and Criminology at Keele University. He has lived in Delhi, London and Cape Town and worked in a neighborhood advice centre and as a local government officer. Together with Elrena van der Spuy, he is the editor of "Justice Gained? Crime and Crime Control in South Africa 's Transition".

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