Understanding the causes of male sexual assault: a case study of the Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre.
Mtshali, Siphelele Nokwethemba.
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Correctional centres are regarded as places of rehabilitation; however, this is not always the case. Correctional centres of the 21st century in South Africa seem to be a breeding place for the victimisation of offenders. One of the main purposes of environmental criminology is to successfully prevent the occurrence of crime through crime prevention strategies. Environmental Criminology considers the way in which the environment can contribute to the occurrence of crime and thus developing strategies that will alter the environment into preventing the crime from occurring. Aspects such as lighting, structure, and visibility are all taken into consideration when developing crime combating strategies. Using environmental designs to prevent sexual assault from occurring in South African correctional centres would require of the correctional officials to consider dealing with environmental issues such as overcrowding, how offenders are treated, as well as dealing with the issue of food, blankets and beds that are used as currency at the Kokstad correctional centre. This study aims to report on the causes of male sexual assault in South African correctional centres, with much focus on the Kokstad medium correctional centre. This study investigated the prevalence, nature and extent of sexual assault, as well as the rehabilitation programmes that are aimed at assisting victims of sexual assault. This was an exploratory and descriptive study that made use of in-depth interviews. Qualitative research method was used. Through thematic analysis the findings indicated that the presence of gangs in correctional centres is the major cause of sexual assault. Offenders can willingly become victims of sexual assault when they do not have support from their families as well as not having toiletries and well call items (well call items are food, snacks and cigarettes). As it had been mentioned above that the aim of the study was to report on the causes of male sexual assault, it became evident that overcrowding, staff shortages, lack of training for correctional officials on sexual assault related matters were some of the causes of male sexual assault at the Kokstad medium correctional centre.