Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP)
The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of National Security (MNS) and with financing from the Inter-American Development Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) of Canada is implementing the Citizen Security and Justice Programme III (CSJP III). The programme seeks to enhance citizen security and justice in fifty (50) volatile and vulnerable communities across eight parishes. It is intended that part of the proceeds of the funding will be applied to eligible payments for this consulting service.
The services of the CSJP III are available to youth between the ages of 15-29 years old, who reside in any of the fifty (50) targeted communities. Potential beneficiaries undergo a risk assessment process and may qualify to benefit from one or more of the following services:
COMPONENT 1: Culture Change & Community Governance
This is interrupting the transmission of crime and violence by isolating instances of the ‘infection’ through a crime control programme. This is carried out in partnership with CSJP and the Peace Management Initiative (PMI)
CSJP recognizes the lasting negative impact of improper parenting on the lives of vulnerable young persons. CSJP’s answer is a parental education programme to train parents in child rearing and development and household management. This initiative is available to parents of all ages and stages and includes counseling.
Psychological Services and Counseling
Psychological Services and Counseling looks at the development of gender-responsive counseling and psycho-social support strategies aimed at (i) reducing the distress of clients and (ii) improving the psychological wellbeing of clients by the use of psychological methods and research to make positive changes to clients’ lives
Social Marketing for Behavioural Change: CSJP’s Men with a Message
In 2010, the CSJP’s PEU designed an outreach initiative called CSJP’s Men With A Message as a pragmatic way of engaging at risk youth. CSJP’s ‘Men with a Message’ (MWAM) is a group of reformed gang members and ex-convicts who have turned their backs on crime and violence and who have also has successfully participated in one or more of CSJP II Crime Prevention Services (such as Tuition Assistance, Vocational Skills Training, and/or On-the-Job Training) as part of their journey of change. They have been recruited under CSJP’s Social Marketing sub component to promote: the possibility of change, opportunities to change, and the benefits of change to at risk males.
The fact that the ‘Men with a Message’ hail from the volatile and vulnerable communities has enabled them to empathize with other youth from similar backgrounds, therefore their message is more profound. Their message is even more authentic as they have experienced some of the worst consequences of criminal behaviour and have overcome. Their life’s mission is now to dissuade youth from going down the path that they did.
Social Marketing Campaigns for Behaviour Change
This looks at the development and implementation of strategic campaigns that foster a reduction in pro-violent attitudes; and for carrying out public relations and promotional campaigns highlighting CSJP III results where appropriate. Utilization of multi-media content including press releases and announcements act as the marketing and communication vehicles, both on and offline.
Capacity Building of Community Development Committee
This service aims at empowering community leaders and other community stakeholders to manage the affairs of their community and to contribute effectively to community development. CSJP partners with the Department of Co-operative and Friendly Societies to implement training sessions and workshops to build the CDCs’ capacities.
Community centres are built to facilitate community development plans and activities. Select community spaces such as parks, sidewalks, sanitation projects are also undertaken to improve and enhance community status. These projects are undertaken as a collaborative effort between the CSJP and major community stakeholders.
Situational Crime Prevention
These comprise small projects that demonstrate quick and effective responses to community concerns; can have a direct/immediate impact on crime and violence reduction in the target communities; and may promote community acceptance/ownership of the CSJP III. Projects must incorporate community involvement and beneficiary participation at all stages (project identification, design, implementation and operation). The incorporation of beneficiary participation alleviates poverty, reduces unemployment and injects some financial input into the targeted communities. This can and does result in a reduction of crime and violence
Gender Sensitization Workshops
The Gender Specialist provides leadership, consultation and support for the integration of the principles and practices of Gender Equality across all programmes and services of CJSP III. The Gender Unit develop innovative strategies to ensure the timely and sustainable mainstreaming of Gender Equality in all programmes; and develops inclusive training sessions that encompass adult learning methodology, that will contribute to the capacity for services to be delivered within a Gender Equality environment. The Unit promotes gender equality/equity through cross-cutting approaches to parenting skills training, conflict resolution, counselling/psycho-social support, public awareness and education campaigns, women empowerment events, improvement of citizen-police interactions, community governance mechanisms, community safety audits and plans, and peace building.
CSJP COMPONENT 2: Labour Market Attachment and Employability
Vocational skills training
A wide range of training opportunities in various vocational areas is offered at Levels One through Three; all are certified through Heart Trust/NTA. The service is designed to improve the employment prospects of unattached youth through skills training in areas such as Plumbing, Welding, Electrical Installation, General Construction, Dry Wall Technology, and Stevedoring among others.
Employment Internship Programme
After successful completion of high school, a tertiary institution or vocational skills training, many of our young people find it difficult to gain meaningful employment. The Employment Internship Programme offers a six month job at a reputable private or public sector entity, and pays a stipend. Successful individuals are interned for this period in order to acquire valuable skills.
Financial assistance is provided by the CSJP to students who are beginning or continuing school up to the tertiary level (Bachelors). Assistance include full or part payment of school fees and in some special cases the assistance with books. To benefit, one of the major criteria is that the applicant MUST either be an active member of their community organization (CDC, Youth Organization) or an active community volunteer. Scholarship recipients especially tertiary are expected to give back at least 120 hours of service to their respective communities.
COMPONENT 3: Community Justice Services (Offered in Partnership with the Ministry of Justice)
The CSJP’s Restorative Justice (RJ) is a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence. It is a different way of thinking about crime and conflict.
RJ focuses on holding the offender accountable in a more meaningful way. It repairs the harm caused by the offence, helps to reintegrate the offender into the community and helps to achieve a sense of healing for both the victim and the community.
RJ Conferences and Circles
RJ Conferences and Circles are some of the tools used in Restorative Justice. A victim may meet with the offender face to face in a Victim/Offender Conference, or with the Offender and persons from the larger community in a Family Group/Community Conference. A Healing and Talking Circle can also be held to focus on a common concern in order to aid in healing. A Sentencing Circle can also be used to arrive at a sentencing plan for an offender.
RJ in Jamaica
Vision Statement: The National Restorative Justice Policy is a pathway for transformation to a more secure, just, cohesive and peaceful Jamaican society.
A National Restorative Justice Policy outlines the Protocols that will govern RJ. The Ministry of Justice has the responsibility for the overall implementation and administration of the National Restorative Justice Programme.
Goals of National Restorative Justice Programme are:
- Create a culture of peace through effective processes that emphasize the values of mutual respect, dignity and concern between one another in an environment of healing, reconciliation, and restoration;
- Empower individuals, groups and communities to respond in a positive manner to crime and wrongdoing and the harm offenders cause, thus creating satisfactory outcomes which enable productive relationships;
- Reduce criminal case backlog by diverting cases from the formal justice system and also resolving conflicts at the community level;
- Increase public confidence and trust in the justice system by fostering greater participation in and ownership of Restorative Justice Processes by communities and victims;
- Reduce recidivism by addressing the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and supporting the constructive reintegration of the offender into the community; and
- Eliminate the reprisal culture by enabling individuals to have access to a dispute resolution process at the early stage of conflict and avoid escalation to violent reactions.
The Victim Services Unit seeks to provide opportunity for healing and therapeutic intervention in order to assist the Ministry to balance justice for all victims of crime. This mandate is carried out through our fourteen (14) parish offices island wide.
Critical complementary functions of the unit include:
- Emotional support: Counselling and mediation.
- Crisis intervention: Telephone counselling, on the scene response, home visits and walk in service.
- Special Intervention Projects: Therapeutic interventions targeting specific vulnerable groups.
- Technical services: Referrals, crime prevention services and welfare.
- Public education: Through Public Awareness and sensitizing on victim issues in schools, churches, private and public sectors and CBOs
- Volunteer mobilization: Mechanisms to engender community based support
- Networkin: Liaising with pertinent agencies/individuals to provide comprehensive social, technical and legal support
- Advocacy: On behalf of clients for the attainment of their civil liberties.
- Court Support: By preparing clients for Court proceedings and giving them emotional support throughout the process. Preparation of Court Reports
- Policy guidelines: Development of Government policy guidelines
SPECIAL PROGRAMMES and INTERVENTIONS initiated by the VSU:
Cultural Re-socialisation Intervention Project is a therapeutic intervention for “at-risk” and hurting children ages 6 – 18 yrs from various inner-city communities. It provides therapeutic healing for children through the use of cultural re-sensitization, cognitive restructuring, behaviour modification and the teaching of coping skills. The children are taken out of their regular environment for a day of therapy in a “green” area which provides them with a free and healthy atmosphere. The general goal to be achieved with the use of this intervention is that participants should learn:
- Adequate coping skills and self-determination which can help them to overcome traumatic experiences.
- Respect and positive regard for authority and others which is paramount to healthy socialization.
- That a clean and healthy environment affects us physically, psychologically and economically.
- That there are persons in and around their communities who can provide assistance when needed.
Children-in-Court Project. The Victim Support Unit’s (VSU) Children in Court Programme was designed with the goal of assisting child victims of crime through the Jamaican Justice System. The programme aims to reduce the level of trauma experienced by children as they interface with the Justice system. This is achieved primarily through a series of sessions held with the child by VSU’s qualified team of social workers & counsellors.
These sessions focus on evaluating & addressing the child’s fears and knowledge of the rules and process of the court, teaching them anxiety management and relaxation techniques, preparing them for all possible outcomes of trial and accompanying them to court. A variety of methods are used to achieve these outcomes, including, play therapy, art therapy, role-playing, using model court room and at times pre-trial visits to the actual court building. The underlying premise of the programme is that preparing the child on what to expect reduces the stress, unfamiliarity and trauma of the actual process and possibly helps the clarity of the child’s testimony during trial.
The Volunteer Component – The Victim Support Programme (VSP) was established to address the numerous needs of victims of crime. It was also intended that the programme of support for victims in Jamaica, be developed as a partnership between the government and the community, hence, the development of the volunteer component of the Programme. Through the volunteer component, ordinary citizens are given an opportunity to become active participants in strengthening the Criminal Justice System. Volunteers are considered critical to sustaining the overall operation of Victim Support in each parish. The programme recognizes that high proportions of victimization in communities will destroy the community over time. For this reason, we seek well-thinking members of the community as volunteers.
The overall objective of the Parents Place strategy is to provide support for parents, guardians and other caregivers via information on current and positive child-rearing practices within and outside the Caribbean, also referrals to relevant services, parenting education courses and workshops, counselling and other activities as required/desired, in order to strengthen parenting skills and capacities and improve parent-child relationships.
The Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) is a private voluntary foundation established in July 1994 to establish and encourage the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques throughout Jamaica. Some of its objectives are:
- To encourage and educate the public about using ADR techniques and community and restorative justice practices to promote peace and to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence
- To establish Peace and Justice Centres (service centres) in communities throughout Jamaica
- To increase the mediation and arbitration services by the legal profession and courts as dispute resolution options
There are 4 Divisions providing services nationally and regionally:
- Court, Corporate and Commercial Mediation & Arbitration Services
- Knowledge Management
- Outreach, Youth and Community Services
- Governance and Administration
The Legal Aid Council (LAC) is a statutory entity under the Ministry of Justice. The Council’s mandate is to administer an efficient and coordinated legal aid system in Jamaica.