“A part of the challenge we face as a Jamaican family is the increase in violence in the society,” Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness said at a press briefing in August 2021. He explained that many violent crimes stem from domestic issues where people just do not know how to get along.
Data from the Ministry of National Security (MNS) shows that violent crimes, particularly murder, increased by 10 per cent in 2021. The parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, Hanover, St. James and Westmoreland account for the highest rates in the island.
In response to this, the Government has implemented strategies to help reduce conflicts. The main support mechanisms include:
‘Liv Gud’ Campaign
This is a national anti-violence campaign operating out of the MNS. The behaviour-change campaign seeks to encourage a culture of respect for oneself, each other, as well as law and public order.
Restorative Justice (RJ) Programme
An initiative of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), this programme unites persons in conflict with each other and helps them to resolve their issues. Persons can access restorative justice through parish centres located across the island. For persons preferring to access the service remotely, the programme also provides a virtual conferencing option.
Increased Police Operations
Since the uptick in violent crimes, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has engaged in a number of surge operations, namely special curfews and states of emergency (SOEs) in some areas. There has also been special training for the police to deal with domestic issues.
Through the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), in partnership with the MOJ and other government bodies, official training is offered to persons interested in supporting conflict-resolution efforts. This can be for either their families, clients or communities. The courses normally last seven days and assessment is done by the DRF to determine access.
For additional information, contact:
Ministry of Justice
61 Constant Spring Road
Toll Free: 1-888-4-justice (587-8423)
Instagram, Facebook & Twitter: @mojofficialjm
Dispute Resolution Foundation
Peace Centre & Corporate Head Office
5 Camp Road,
Facebook: Dispute Resolution Foundation