#Jamaica, November 7, 2017 – Kingston – Crime prevention is a key factor driving the implementation of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme’s (CSJP) III Specialised Substance Misuse Treatment Programme, which involves collaboration with the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA).
Under the partnership, persons flagged for drug use through the CSJP’s Community Case Management programme are referred to the NCDA for a special treatment course before they transition into the vocational- or job-training features of the CSJP.
Communications/Social Media Coordinator, Patrice Nephew, addressing a recent JIS Think Tank said the initiative leads to improvements not just on an individual level but also contributes to cohesiveness in the family structure as well as the wider community.
She said self-efficacy, self-actualisation and a greater sense of well-being achieved by individuals due to reduced or no drug use after completing the treatment programme, leads to more peaceful communities.
“Once there is that productivity and they are ready for the workforce, we will see more legal commercial activity taking place, and we will see persons who are rising above their circumstances and being able to provide for their families and to help inspire other members of the community. It’s a multiplier effect,” she noted.
Mrs. Nephew said the programme, the first tranche of which has been successfully implemented, also teaches appropriate social skills, enabling persons to more amicably resolve conflicts, thereby reducing the likelihood of violence.
“We see where social capital is built and all of those positive social gains are actualized. These are skills that our youth would be equipped with once they have gone through the programme,” she said.
Social Worker with CSJP Western, Desmond Stewart, further noted that with improved employment or educational prospects from eliminating drug use, individuals will be gainfully occupied, and, as such, have less opportunity to be involved in criminal activity.
“When they overcome the substance addiction and become gainfully employed or get involved in skills training, this reduces the amount of idle time they have. When occupied with positive things, that, in itself, will lead to a reduction in crime,” he pointed out.
The CSJP’s strategic objectives are embedded in the wider Ministry of National Security five-pillar strategy, specifically that which speaks to achieving crime reduction through social development.
Mrs. Nephew, meanwhile, said the results of the partnership, which started in July 2016, have been very encouraging, and gave commendations to the NCDA for its expertise and use of creative means to reach the youth.
The CSJP referred more than 150 individuals to the NCDA, which conducted 541 individual sessions and 80 group sessions and workshops.
Workshops were also done in communities and schools to sensitize adults and children about marijuana use and to train community volunteers to identify symptoms and persons in need of referral.