Brief report

Service learning in custodial settings in South Africa

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 25, issue 2, 2015 , pages: 151–155
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2015.1021532
Author(s): Johan PrinslooDepartment of Criminology & Security Science, South Africa


This study describes the findings of a community engaged service learning program in which nine female and three male students ranging between 22 and 31 years of age from a large South African university participated in a study conducted in two metropolitan areas of South Africa. They were all senior level students registered for Criminological Evaluation and Assessment, a practically-oriented module aimed at equipping students with the required knowledge and skills to conduct criminological assessments. The students voluntarily assisted correctional centres with the assessment of sentenced offenders and in the compilation of individualized Correctional Sentence Plans (CSP) to inform the rehabilitation process of offenders. Students reported their reflections on their service learning experiences using on-line interviews and with question prompts. Extracts from the thematic data analysis suggest students perceived themselves to be instrumental to the Department of Correctional Services in the fulfilment of its goals, while they benefitted from enhanced learning and social responsibility.

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