YOUTH VOICE JOURNAL

Youth Voice Journal (YVJ) is an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that publishes theoretical contributions and empirical studies on international issues affecting young people. YVJ is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and ranked by Scopus. (c) IARS Publications ISSN 2056-2969

Laura Van Raemdonck & Mariam Seedat Khan (2017) “Investigating the process of juvenile delinquency in Durban, South Africa: Insights from the Capability Approach”

In this study, the Capability Approach is applied as a comprehensive investigative framework for the purpose of understanding juvenile delinquency in Durban, South Africa. The Capability Approach measures justice by focusing on a person’s capabilities and agency freedom. The use of a justice theory model revealed innovative insights in comparison to the largely applied crime theories. This study adopted a qualitative research methodology. Eleven in-depth interviews were undertaken with six ex-juvenile offenders on an integration programme, organised by a Durban based NGO ‘YMCA’. Furthermore, five YMCA employees were interviewed. We found that juveniles’ deprived capabilities – lack of educational opportunities, lack of job opportunities and the absence of positive social networks – directly influence their agency freedom to reach a life they have reason to value. This study contends that the reason they engage in crime is motivated by their failure to secure legal conduits to cope with deprived capabilities or legal ways to activate their agency freedom in order to achieve an elementary life they reason to value. Consequently, the findings endorse preventive interventions that diminish inequalities and interventions that assist ex-juvenile offenders to legally enhance their agency in order to reach a life they reason to value.

Key Words

Capability Approach, juvenile delinquency, risk factors, juvenile justice, agency freedom

Feature image taken by Flickr under Creative Commons Licence – the original can be accessed here.

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This entry was posted on May 2, 2017 by in Citizenship.

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Youth Voice Journal is published by IARS Publications, an independent small publisher specialising in social and political sciences 14 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, London SE16 7PL, UK. (c) IARS Publications.

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