The current topic on the lips of South African’s is the state of crime and violence in our country. While the crime rate continues to escalate, the government has received numerous petitions demanding the re-instatement of the death penalty.
My point of departure on this topic is that killing any number of people would not reduce the escalating rate of crime in South Africa. One needs to deal with the problem realistically. In my view implementing the death penalty is a cosmetic solution to a very real problem.
One needs to break down the source of crime control namely the police service, the prison service and the judicial system. Each of these systems need to be analysed critically, flaws need to be identified and rectified constructively. If one looks at the prison service department, much research has indicated that this department is highly stressed ...view middle of the document...
Corruption within the judicial system needs to be treated as a very serious offence where examples must be set during the sentencing of perpetrators. This will clearly demonstrate an exemplary judicial system where the power of justice and law can displayed to the citizens of our country. More emphasis must be placed on delivery when it comes to prosecutors. Cases need to be prepared impeccably and presented professionally. Judges need to reprimand prosecutors who and not thoroughly prepared. Sentencing also needs to fit the crime.
The prison service also needs a complete restructuring. Prisoners should be given work that would make the prison self sufficient. The rehabilitation process needs to be focused upon. Poor rehabilitation practices that invariably result in more crime needs to be eliminated as this adversely affects the integrity of the prison service. Time spent in prison should be beneficial to the prisoner, the prison and our society.
Another factor that needs to be seriously considered is the high unemployment rate in our country. Poverty and starvation is leading to the escalating crime rate and deteriorating living conditions. Certain individuals are conveniently using crime as a survival tactic. The government needs to address the unemployment problem by creating job opportunities by working through the industry. Incentives must be provided to companies which reflect a high labour burden. Automation within the manufacturing industry must be properly assessed and its impact on job losses should be taken into account. The availability of cheap imported goods in our country needs to be tightly controlled.
These are the real changes that need to be implemented in order to prevent crime in this beautiful country.
Although my view is that the death penalty is not the answer to crime prevention, the merit of the death penalty that must be acknowledged that it would serve as a deterrent. Criminals would definitely twice knowing that their lives are at stake.