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How do ex-offenders in the CWP contribute to violence prevention in their communities?


Research shows that ex-offenders enrolled in South Africa’s Community Work Programme (CWP) contribute to violence prevention because job opportunities and reintegration have minimized their chances of relapsing into a life of crime.

The investigation by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) focused on the CWP, a poverty reduction plan that provides two days of work per week to un- and under-employed South Africans. The study found that in addition to reducing poverty, the CWP contributes to an improved sense of community among participants, which helps prevent crime and violence.

This article explains the perceived impact of the CWP in preventing crime and violence in the townships of Ivory Park and Orange Farm, South Africa. The focus is on the role of ex-offenders working in the CWP and their role in the implementation of crime and violence prevention initiatives in the two communities. Ex-offenders describe their involvement in the CWP as an opportunity to apologize for the pain they have caused community members when they committed crimes against them.

Read the full article in the African Safety Promotion Journal.

Find out more about the IDRC-supported project, “Assessing the impact of state-community collaboration to address urban violence in South Africa.”

Learn more about IDRC’s research support to make cities safer through the Safe and Inclusive Cities partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development.