Source: (1998) Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the B.Soc. Sc. Honours Degree in Criminology. Institute of Criminology, University of Cape Town. Downloaded 25 June 03.

The following study critically examines the transformation of the Child and Youth Care System and its impact on youth awaiting trial and their warders in Section B5, Pollsmoor Prison. The study qualitatively traces the experiences of the youth from the point of arrest to detention with emphasis on their reality within the prison itself. The information from warders is used to present a more holistic analysis of systemic issues and a deeper understanding of prison life. An analysis of the impact of Project Go (a primary transformational strategy) is included to highlight current efforts to translate policy into practice. The study demonstrates the blatant and persistent violation of children's rights within the prison setting including neglect, physical and sexual assault and exploitation. The absence of schooling as well as therapeutic and supportive services is demonstrated to fuel anti-social behaviour and threaten the well - being of youth. The infiltration of gangsterism and organised crime is explored in detail as well as the destabilising effect which it has on the youth. The study highlights the discrepancies between policy and practice and advocates that the state must prioritise youth in detention and catalyse the total eradication of prison as a place of detention. In the interim period however, it is critical to initiate emergency measures which will promote the care and protection of the youth and harness their potential to meaningfully contribute to society. Author's Abstract.

Read Full Article