JIS News

Participants in the programmes of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) in the Ministry of National Security will soon have to undergo psychological testing, as the organisation moves to improve their courses.

Senior Community Action Co-ordinator at the CSJP, Orville Simmonds says the testing will fulfill the CSJP’s objectives of providing efficient educational, employment and empowerment initiatives that are offered to at-risk youth in several communities across the island.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Simmonds said that the CSJP offers a myriad of programmes to at-risk youth in the communities that it serves, with assistance from several partners. These include employment internship, vocational skills development, job placement, parenting education, motivational seminars by ‘Men With A Message’ as well as the provision of scholarships to primary and tertiary level students.

Citing the importance of utilising a holistic approach in each programme, Mr. Simmonds noted that activities of the CSJP are carried out in each community that it serves, in an effort to foster behaviour change, economic empowerment and, the development of individuals and their communities.

In 2012, approximately 750 youth benefitted from the CSJP’s vocational skills training courses in areas such as Food Preparation, Auto-mechanic, Early Childhood, Development, and Computer Repairs.

“One of the things we have noticed, over the years, is the need to conduct a psychosocial diagnostic (test) of young people that we are engaging,” Mr. Simmonds highlighted, while adding that the success of the training is often impacted by certain psychological or social factors which can affect their ability to complete the courses.

This, he said, will help the organisation’s social workers to identify learning defects, behavioural challenges and to analyse personality traits which can be used to determine which career training course is best suited for the individuals.

“The test will ensure that all participants in our programmes benefit from the services of the CSJP and it will allow us to better plan for them, and which will allow them to better plan their lives,” Mr. Simmonds added.

He said the psychosocial analysis will improve the training programmes and promote effective and competent career counselling initiatives.

Charged with the mandate of implementing social intervention programmes which are designed to build safety and security, the CSJP is active in 47 communities across eight parishes in Jamaica, and will be extending its services to three other communities in St. Catherine and St. Andrew by the end of the first quarter of 2013.