Jamaica’s violence problem is not new. Since the mid 1970’s the island’s per capita murder rate has steadily increased, by an average of 4.4 percent per year, from 19.8 per 100,000 in 1977, to 60 per 100,000 in 2017. In 2019, Jamaica was recorded as having the second highest murder rate in the Latin America and the Caribbean. Jamaica’ extreme violence rate is often attributed to gangs.
CAPRI in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development, and with Ms. Joanna Callen as the Lead Researcher is undertaking a study with an effort to bring focused attention to Jamaica’s gang problem, with the objective of advancing knowledge towards more effective policies and programmes for gang prevention and control. The information garnered will be used to make relevant policy recommendations, with an emphasis on providing a basis to mobilize civic support for and participation in good governance in the area of crime and violence reduction, particularly as it pertains to gangs.