Source: (2003) Paper submitted for the XIth International Symposium on Victimology. 13-18 July 2003, Stellenbosch, South Africa. Downloaded 21 August 2003.

As W.F.M. Luyt notes, it is often said that imprisonment is the paradigm of sentencing. While per capita rates of incarceration vary from country to country, statistics indicate that imprisonment rates are escalating. In this context, Luyt asserts that overcrowding in prisons negates respect for the human dignity of the incarcerated person and adversely affects prison operations. Moreover, incarceration appears to have little positive impact on crime victims. Instead it creates a large group of hidden, silent, innocent victims. These victims are the family and children of a parent or other relation who has been convicted and incarcerated. With all of this in mind, Luyt discusses the origination of hidden victims, the importance of family ties in the process of victimization, and the role of imprisonment in creating hidden victims. Luyt then focuses on hidden victims of the criminal justice system in South Africa.

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