Jamaica Adopts St. Kitts-Nevis PEACE Programme to Combat Violent Crime

Inspired by St. Kitts and Nevis' Success, Jamaica Implements Alternative Pathways Programme

Jamaica is set to adopt the highly successful Alternative Pathways Programme, known locally as the PEACE Programme, pioneered by the St. Kitts and Nevis Team Unity administration under Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris. The PEACE Programme, an initiative credited with a dramatic decrease in violent crimes, particularly murders, which saw over a 50% decline, serves as an inspirational model for Jamaica’s new crime reduction strategy.

The St. Kitts and Nevis PEACE Programme was launched as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing entrenched violence within communities. The programme’s success in significantly reducing violent crime has garnered attention across the Caribbean, leading Jamaica to consider a similar path.

Jamaica’s implementation of this model comes at a crucial time. The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), funded by the European Union, recently completed an in-depth study assessing current crime reduction strategies under the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs). This study, titled “Groundwork for Peace: Reorienting ZOSOs for Sustained Violence Reduction,” critically examines the efficacy of the “clear, hold, and build” strategy within ZOSOs and proposes innovative solutions aimed at fostering sustainable peace and development.

The findings of this study will be unveiled at a launch event on June 4, 2024, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, beginning at 5:30 PM. The event will feature a presentation by Research Fellow Mr. Alexander Causwell, who will discuss the effectiveness of social development initiatives and provide recommendations for structural changes to break the cycle of violence. The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Diana Thorburn, Director of Research at CAPRI, will include insights from Dr. Kevin Blake, Commissioner of Police, and Ms. Venesha Phillips, former Councillor of the Papine Division.

Jamaica’s adoption of the PEACE Programme highlights the region’s commitment to learning from successful initiatives and implementing best practices to address the persistent issue of violent crime. The initiative’s focus on providing alternative pathways and fostering community development aligns with Jamaica’s goals of creating a safer and more peaceful society.

By adopting the PEACE Programme, Jamaica aims to replicate the success seen in St. Kitts and Nevis, reducing violent crime rates and improving the quality of life for its citizens. This collaborative effort underscores the importance of regional cooperation and shared strategies in the ongoing fight against violence and crime in the Caribbean.

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