Government to spend $5 billion for community intervention programme

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

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GOVERNMENT in-tends to spend $5 billion 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.

The CSJP is a multifaceted 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.

Security Minister Peter Bunting, who provided details during his recent Sectoral Debate presentation, said this third phase of the crime and violence prevention initiative will be much improved over the previous two segments.

He said that the programme will be funded by the Government through inter-national partners such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the United Kingdom 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.

Bunting said his 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," 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 islandwide that have experienced extreme trauma caused by violence.

— JIS

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