A Jamaican academic has repeated what has been widely believed for decades in Jamaica, that its rampant crime problem is tied to its political system.
Dr Joy Moncrieffe, Director of the Institute for Applied Social Research, speaking at a virtual workshop introducing the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in youth crime and violence prevention efforts, has blamed Jamaica’s political system for many crimes being committed by youths.
Moncrieffe stated that history shows that politicians who needed political strongholds to maintain power in the 1970s, recruited frustrated inner-city youths as foot soldiers. She said this culture has continued through the decades and needs to be addressed. Jamaica recorded 1,323 murders in 2020 and had the Caribbean’s highest homicide rate at 46.5 per 100,000 people.
Moncrieffe said: “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 that alongside the political roots, financial inequalities and social issues add to the reasons why youth turn to crime.