Approximately $5 billion (US$50 million) is to be expended over the next four years on interventions in communities across Jamaica, as the Ministry of National Security launches the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, who provided details during his recent Sectoral presentation, said this third phase of the crime and violence-prevention initiative will be much improved over the previous two segments.
He informed that the programme will be funded by the Government through international partners such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The present programme, which has been working with at-risk youth in some 50 volatile communities, will come to an end in December, 2013.
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Mr. Bunting informed that the Ministry has commissioned an evaluation of the previous two phases to ensure that the initiative will build upon the successes, as well as ensure that the interventions will provide sustainable opportunities for the growth and development of the country’s citizens.
He said that CSJP III will maintain the basic elements of the original programme, but will be redefined to include a national crime prevention focus. This, he said, will expand its reach beyond volatile inner-city areas, to address early signs of social dis-organisation in communities across the island.
As such, the number of beneficiaries under the skills development and job placement component, being undertaken in collaboration with the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), will be widened to include vulnerable youth from rural communities islandwide.
“The results include the transformation of the attitudes of these young people, who have been exposed to some of the best role models that our country has produced. CSJP III will incorporate a new element that will help to provide many of our youth with alternative options,” Mr. Bunting stated.
Another major component of CSJP III will be a renewed focus on support for activities to change the socio-economic circumstances of high risk groups and communities, and to reduce the negative socialisation processes, which lead to crime, violence and disorder.
To this end, the programme will provide additional support for business/entrepreneurial development that will enable community members to access critical resources designed to boost small community-based enterprise.
In addition, CSJP III will strengthen support for inter-agency interventions in communities island-wide that have experienced extreme trauma caused by violence.
“These interventions will be focused on rapid responses to counter the possibilities of wider episodes, reduce reprisals, promote restorative justice, and, thereby, rebuild a spirit of community,” Mr. Bunting said.
He added that at the heart of the interventions will be an integrated approach that seeks to improve efficiencies by drawing upon the human, financial and other resources of state agencies that have responsibility for community safety, the private sector, and civil society groups.
He further noted that to achieve improved programme coordination, CSJP will have greater coordination of programme services within the Ministries of Justice, Education, Youth and Culture, Sports, Health and Local Government and their departments and agencies.
“Our approach will be rooted in the recognition that for community crime prevention to become transformative, the interventions to be undertaken in CSJP III must be sustainable. One of our key objectives will be to ensure that CSJP III programme activities will be incorporated into the corporate plans and budgets of relevant ministries departments and agencies over the next four years. This will ensure the continuation of the key elements of the programme well beyond the expiration of current funding,” Mr. Bunting said.
Another component of the new CSJP will be an enhanced social marketing programme that will be focused on reversing the pervasive culture of violence.
National messaging will be developed focusing on key behaviour changes at the individual and institutional levels.
“We will begin to create a national coalition that involves every well-thinking Jamaican, in building a culture based on caring for each other and uplifting our communities. Therefore, we have begun to make adjustments to how the programme operates, to put greater emphasis on social marketing,” the Security Minister said.
CSJP is a multi-faceted crime and violence prevention initiative of the Ministry of National Security, which focuses on building community safety and security.
The programme provides crime and violence prevention services to vulnerable and volatile communities, and conducts institutional strengthening of the Ministry of National Security.
Contact: Latonya Linton