The quasi-coercive treatment of young drug offenders in South Africa: The role of the family

Tara Harris-Cik, Rika Swanzen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    The adoption of restorative justice principles in the treatment of youth offenders offers the opportunity and challenge of providing evidence-based guidelines for treatment programmes (as opposed to punitive measures). This paper aims to add to the body of growing literature to support treatment of youth offenders within the community. A link is made between drug abuse and criminal behaviour in young people and then placed within a legal context that enables the choice of quasi-coercive treatment. To highlight what this means for the family who will take responsibility for alternative sentencing of young offenders, the person-in-environment framework is used to show the dynamic working of environment systems and social roles, as well as attachment theory to show the effect of relationship quality of the parent-child dyad. The paper ends with a summary of aspects to consider when a focus on the family is taken when alternative sentencing is considered
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11 - 27
    Number of pages17
    JournalJurnalul Practicilor Pozitive Comunitare
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • quasi-coercive treatment
    • youth offenders
    • drug abuse
    • criminal justice
    • person-in-environment

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