"This paper explores South African and international literature relevant to repeat offending. It reviews the international literature on violent and aggressive behaviour and relevant, but limited, South African literature on violent criminal behaviour. This paper maps current thinking on violent and aggressive behaviour, nationally and internationally, with the aim of informing a focused research design. It also provides a description of the wide range of variables at play in repeat violent offending. The paper will inform a three-year study on sentenced violent offenders in South Africa to be undertaken by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in collaboration with the Community Law Centre at the University of the Western Cape (in particular the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative – CSPRI) and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). The study is motivated by the understanding that the identification of indicators of risk before young offenders embark on a life trajectory of violent crime, and the implementation of appropriate interventions will, in the long term, contribute towards reducing levels of violent crime and re-offending."