In Flynn’s (2007) study he mentions that the place of re-entry plays a role in the reintegration of an ex-offender. In Thabo’s experience the place of re-entry did play a role in his reintegration, however, it was not due to the availability of services etc. In the interview when asked if returning to Johannesburg (where he was arrested) made reintegration harder, Thabo responded by saying “It is actually a motivation”. Thabo felt that returning to Johannesburg was motivation for him to “make a positive impact” (line 432) in the communities he had previously terrorised.
Qualitatively investigating the challenges of reintegration was an objective of this study and so a specific question was ...view middle of the document...
Mair (2004) speaks too of the pressure on ex-offenders to support themselves. Mair’s (2004) study links with both challenges mentioned by Thabo in the interview. Thabo mentions that ex-convicts “need money, just like everybody else, to survive,” (lines 496 – 497). Thabo seems to suggest that the pressure to be financially independent, along with the struggle to find employment because of one’s record makes reintegration a challenge. Mair (2004) makes a similar point and ends by stating that poverty is one of the main causes of recidivism; as the pressure eventually becomes too much for the parolee.
In South Africa the high level of prisoners has been cause for concern. With information released from the ICPS (2013) stating that South African prisons are filled beyond capacity, it is now more important than ever to ensure that those offenders released into society do not re-offend but rather become successfully reintegrated into society.
According to the Department of Correctional services (n.d.), the purpose of parole – the conditional release of an offender to complete their remaining sentence in the community - is to promote the successful reintegration of offenders back into society. However, reintegration is not an easy feat but rather a long-lasting journey that involves various levels, according to Springer Link (2008).
This study aimed to qualitatively answer the question, “what are the experiences of an ex-offender (parolee) living in Johannesburg in terms of reintegration?” After the use of a qualitative research methodology – an in-depth, semi-structured interview, it was found that an ex-offender experienced support, judgement and an increase in his faith. This was shown through the participants use of words and phrases like “embraced me”, “condemned”, “judged” and “Trust God”.
Limitations to the study included the fact that the file containing the original copy of the field notes taken during the interview were stolen. This resulted in information that had not already been transcribed or recorded being omitted from the transcriptions. Certain questions asked during the interview also did not yield the desired answers. After analysing the data, the researcher realised that further questions should have been posed to the participant, however due to time constraints a further interview could not be organised. The research was done qualitatively and therefore the scientific value of the study comes into question as the data is subjective.
In order to ensure that non-verbal data is recorded accurately, those wanting to conduct a similar experiment should ensure that the interview is recorded with a video recorder and not just with audio equipment. Another recommendation would be to conduct a similar quantitative study. According to Merriam (1998) a case study provides insights that can be used to form the hypothesis for a future study. Further research should be done to investigate the success of parole as a means of promoting...