Jamaican News

$387 Billion Spent On Social Intervention in Jamaica. Yet Poor Results.

May 20, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |

Despite a whopping JA$387 billion dollars spent on Social Intervention programmes over the past 10 years, the rate of major crimes have not moved down significantly, especially homicides.  Homicides in particular is a main cause for concern and understandably so.


It was hoped that the ills besetting the Jamaican society would be getting better.  Oh yes!  Rapes and break ins and petty crimes have declined at an acceptable rate and that is a fact. There have been that great expectation and  the CAPRI Study is actually saying that by now we would have seen the ailing patient Jamaica leave intensive care and be heading to the recovery ward for discharge. Unfortunately this has not been the result so far. For some reason a love for the gun has been the choice of weapon. The irony is,  guns are not manufactured in Jamaica W.I.

Who is CAPRI?

The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CPRI) has been doing a survey of living conditions and helping to identify certain problems affecting growth and related  lifestyle patterns for years in the Caribbean. This respected policy research NGO stationed in Jamaica, with a Caribbean-wide reach is a Think Tank.  They have been working for years to help to inform governments, public, and private  sector entities to evaluate the outcomes of public intervention to improve the lot of the poor and less fortunate, all who need to access public services and to embark on project implementation. They are the turn to guys for the up-to-date identification of thorny issues. There can be no solution without data.


For example, they did a report on the state of abortion in the region, if you may recall, recently Vision Newspaper reported on their findings on this vexed issue of abortion.


A typical example is,  CAPRI seems to be in favour that the Government should legalize abortion. The Jamaican society seems to not be in support of the issue of legalizing abortion. CAPRI estimates that 22,000 illegal abortions occur in Jamaica each year. Some lead to death of the mothers. Many are done by non medical persons under questionable conditions. Those are the raw facts.


CAPRI also reports that males about 38 years and younger are responsible for 77 percent of all homicides in Jamaica. Most shocking is the fact that children as young as 12 years old are being charged for murder according to a CAPRI finding.


It is  also shocking that we are getting such poor outcomes after this huge expenditure of scarce resources. That is JA$387 billion in Jamaica alone over a ten year period. On a related matter a 15 year old boy in Westmoreland turned himself into the police yesterday May 19, 2021, and has been charged for murdering a 5 year old relative with an illegal firearm. The 12 year old was on the run for days. How did he get that gun, is your guess as good as mine?  We are in a lot of trouble. The leadership of the area police commented.

The Superintendent of Police for the area purportedly said inter alia:

“Poor parenting is responsible for this latest murder by the 12 year old boy.”

What do you think? The verdict as usual is yours.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a poet, parent,  and veteran journalist.

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