Despite having achieved massive reductions in homicide levels since 1994, South Africa is one of the ten most violent countries in the world. Has the South African government’s emphasis on policing and the criminal justice system to address crime and violence been the right policy choice? Southern Voices Network Scholar Chandré Gould argues that to see the long-term trend towards lower violence levels sustained, a radical shift has to occur in how the state spends resources to combat crime. She explains in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.


Chandré Gould is a senior research fellow in the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme of the Institute for Security Studies and managing editor the journal South African Crime Quarterly. In 2015 she completed a multi-year life history study of violent offenders. The results were published in a book titled Beaten Bad: the life stories of violent offenders. In 2009 she edited a volume titled Criminal (In)Justice: A civil society perspective. Since 2008 she has been the CEO(voluntary) of a community-based organisation that works to prevent violence by providing after school care for children, youth development and parenting programmes. She is co-PI on a three-year study to assess the impact of delivering four evidence-based positive parenting programmes along with a social activation process in a disadvantaged community in South Africa. She convenes a national dialogue forum for government, academics and NGOs in a long-term process that in South Africa.

John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming.