An Exploration of Violent Behaviour of Young Ex-Offenders on the Cape Flats, South Africa: Suggestions for Youth Work Practice
Keywords:youth in conflict with the law, juvenile delinquency, violent behaviour, exclusion, youth work, ex-offender, social integration
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that contributed to violent behaviour among young ex-offenders, and the challenges that young ex-offenders faced when reintegrating into mainstream society on the Cape Flats in South Africa. The researchers used a qualitative approach grounded in phenomenology as the research design. The study population consisted of eight young ex-offenders on the Cape Flats who had served sentences in prison. Purposive sampling was used to select them for participation. The data were collected through individual semi-structured interviews and a phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the participants’ responses. Ethical considerations such as informed consent, privacy, voluntary participation, and confidentiality were given due attention in this study. The results of the study revealed that factors such as the lack of parental affection, peer pressure, the use of drugs, and domestic violence contributed to violent behaviour among young ex-offenders on the Cape Flats. The study concluded that, when returning to the community, young ex-offenders face challenges such as family and community mistrust and a lack of employment opportunities. The study recommends the involvement of all young ex-offenders in activities of the National Youth Service, fully supervised by the National Youth Development Agency and officials of the Department of Correctional Services for a certain period as part of youth work practice in South Africa.
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