JIS News

The Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) is in the process of hiring residents as assistants to officers working on the ground as part of efforts to enable the programme to effectively carry out its objectives.
Programme Manager, at the CSJP, Mr. Simeon Robinson tells JIS News that the assistants will aid in the mobilisation of services within the various communities under the CSJP.
“They will be able to more quickly advise us of some of the real issues or needs of their community. They will actually be the point persons, who are residents within the communities through which we can liaise and we can network. If you add the 28 persons, which would be one in each of the communities, we believe this will give us enough resources on the ground to execute the range of activities that are planned,” he explains.
Mr. Robinson further notes that the decision to hire residents to support the activities of the CSJP is a way of building capacity.
“At the end of the day when CSJP would have reached its sunset, we would have left within each community, enough capacity to carry on the work that we have been doing and that is one of the reasons why we have elected persons in each community,” he states.
Currently, the CSJP is in the process of finalising the hiring of the assistants, and persons participating in this venture will also be paid a salary.
Meanwhile, since its inception, the programme has been using several activities to help transform the lives of persons. Some of these include the promotion of better parenting practices, and the provision of skills training for individuals.
“We have been doing what we call the economic empowerment intervention such as assistance in the preparation for Grade Six Achievement Test, back to school support, and tuition support at the tertiary level. We have been providing support in terms of vocational skills training combined with life skills training,” Mr. Robinson explains.
“We have been providing general support in terms of facilitating the environment for democratic governance arrangements within the communities; building on positive leaderships. We have been providing space, community spaces through multi-purpose centres in the communities,” he adds.
In the communities, the Multi-purpose centres are used by the residents as an area to host meetings, provide skills training, and host social functions. “These are activities that we have had residents from all over the communities validate as important to their wellbeing,” the Programme Manager states.
Mr. Robinson expressed his appreciation to the various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that have been assisting the programme in carrying out its mandate. Some of these NGO’s include Rise Life Management, Kingston Restoration Company, and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.
“We do work with a large cadre of volunteers in each of these communities. I don’t think we could afford to hire the number of persons who we rely on to assist us on the ground. We have for instance some community based organisations through which we work and these persons are essentially volunteers and they have supported the programme in very significant ways,” Mr. Robinson says.
“Without them we would have to expand the staffing arrangement significantly and I don’t think the programme can afford to do that. Because of these volunteers we are able to deploy our resources in a strategic way within each community. When I refer to community-based organisations a number of them organise themselves into Benevolent Societies, in other words they are legal structures and among the membership of the benevolent societies are several community based organisations like Police Youth Clubs among other interest,” he adds.
The CSJP, a programme of the Ministry of National Security, is in its second phase of funding from the Inter-American Development Bank, which will run until December 2013. Its main objectives are to prevent and reduce crime and violence, and to strengthen crime management capabilities through community action, and institutional strengthening of the Ministry level.
Currently it operates in 28 inner city communities, or volatile and vulnerable communities in the Kingston Metropolitan Area, as well as in St. James and Westmoreland.

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