Thulane Gxubane (2018) Reintegration challenges of youth who were diverted into a residential sex offenders’ programme in South Africa

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



This article explores the reintegration of youth subsequent to their release on completion of their residential sex offenders’ diversion programme and the role of social workers in this regard. It draws on the study which explored the management of youth sex offenders through residential diversion. The methodology included a case study, a combination of qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and a non-probability purposive sampling. A semi-structured interview schedule was used as a data collection instrument through in-depth face-to-face interviews with ex-youth sex offenders (YSOs), their parents or guardians, and professionals involved in the management of YSOs and/or their victims. The study found that most youth did not continue with their schooling on their return to the community. The youth experienced a varied number of challenges during their release from the youth centre some of which were linked to the sex offences they had committed. It was found that, in some cases the family or/and extended family members were actually a source of problems for the young people. The study also found that the facilitation of transition stage from the youth centre to the community presented a huge challenge to different youth justice service providers and as a result of no clear role clarification, reintegration and after-care services are not rendered. These services need to be made part of the programme through a court order, since they are perceived as not central to the rehabilitation process.

Key words: reintegration, after-care services, youth sex offenders, residential diversion, secure care social work, probation practice

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