Eleven new communities are benefitting from social intervention and violence prevention initiatives under the Citizen, Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).
The additions bring the total number of communities now being served under the programme to 50.
The new communities are: Majesty Gardens, Whitehall Gardens/Red Hills Road, Maverly and Seaview Gardens in the Kingston and St. Andrew region; Central Village, Gordon Pen and Greendale in St. Catherine; York Town in Clarendon; Whitehall in Negril, Westmoreland; as well as Green Pond and Anchovy in St. James.
CSJP is a multi-faceted crime and violence prevention programme of the Ministry of National Security that focuses on building community safety and security. Already, it is reaching 39 vulnerable and volatile areas spanning eight parishes.
The aim of the CSJP is to implement various initiatives that will ultimately result in behaviour modification among residents of the targeted communities, in addition to achieving a reduction in criminal activities.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank held on April 25, Senior Community Action Officer, Denise Adams, said that the focus of the programme is on building individual and collective competencies, and reducing the factors that result in violence and crime.
She stated that the CSJP uses a holistic approach that is not only geared towards the growth of the individual, but on the advancement of the communities involved.
Among the myriad of programmes that the CSJP offers are: vocational skills training, parenting education, employment internship, as well as scholarships for primary and tertiary level students.
“We really take pride in our scholarship programme because what it does is to give persons, from these vulnerable and volatile communities, a chance of upward mobility and economic empowerment,” Miss Adams said.
Additionally, she pointed out that empowerment is critical to the behaviour change process, noting that “if an individual is empowered economically and are allowed to improve themselves educationally then there is a spin-off effect for them as they will later improve the lives of their families."
The CSJP is funded by the Government of Jamaica, through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank and the Department for International Development (DFID). The activities of the programme include institutional strengthening of the Ministry of National Security.