Research director says Jamaica's political system contributes to crime among youthsTuesday, April 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Director of the Institute for Applied Social Research, Dr Joy Moncrieffe, says Jamaica's political system is a contributing factor to the high level of crime among youths.
Speaking at a virtual workshop introducing the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in youth crime and violence prevention efforts, Moncrieffe stated that since the 1970s, frustrated inner-city youths were recruited as foot soldiers for politicians who needed political strongholds in order to maintain power.
“Since then, the nature of crime and violence has mushroomed [and] in many communities we no longer have that central don. What we have instead are multiple dons with many youths considering themselves dons,” she said, adding that this culture needs to be addressed.
“Added to its political roots [there are] wide and pervasive insecurities in income, employment, education and health among at risk youths. [There are also] spatial inequalities across rural and urban areas and vast inequalities across wealthier and poorer classes.”
These issues, Moncrieffe explained, cannot be ignored when the aim is to reduce crimes committed by youths.
According to official data released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica recorded 1,323 murders in 2020 and had the region's highest homicide rate at 46.5 per 100,000 people.
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