The Underlying Motives of University Student Volunteers Participating in Community Service Activities in Custodial Settings in South Africa: A Philosophical Perspective

Johannes H Prinsloo

Abstract


Socrates pronounced that “An unexamined life is not worth living” and maintained the belief that the purpose of human life was personal and spiritual growth. This article explores, against this background, the motives and experiences of 12 student volunteers who assisted with the assessment of sentenced offenders in custodial settings in South Africa, as part of the “third mission” of the Department of Criminology and Security Science at the University of South Africa (Unisa). A case study approach was followed to explore the underlying social context and thereby gain an understanding of the students’ experience in terms of their exposure to the correctional milieu. The article relates the student volunteers’ experiences regarding their expectations and motives at the outset, their personal experiences and the benefits that involvement in this project holds for them.


Keywords


Greek philosophy; third mission; higher education; experiential learning; volunteers; corrections

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