CRPC Launches Youth Violence Prevention Project for Jamaica and the Caribbean

The Caribbean Research and Policy Center (CRPC) has brought together a group of experts to examine the many issues which impact youth violence in Caribbean communities  and to offer pathways for a holistic approach to prevention and amelioration across the region. The group which is being led jointly by Ambassador Curtis Ward and Dr. Karen Francis includes experts of Caribbean heritage from a broad spectrum of disciplines who focus on youth violence prevention issues. The primary outcome of the project is to prepare a comprehensive guide which provides A Holistic Approach to Ending Youth Violence in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

This guide intends to focus on providing an overview of the causes and correlates of youth violence in Jamaica and the Caribbean.  It will focus on discussing comprehensive and practical strategies to address violence using a public health framework and provide recommendations for action.

Critical areas of focus:

  • A public health approach to youth violence in Jamaica and the Caribbean
  • Evaluation and Data Systems
  • Conditions Conducive to Recruitment to Criminal Activities
  • Law Enforcement
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Youth Incarceration, Rehabilitation, and Re-integration
  • Mental Health Needs of Youth involved in the Juvenile Justice System
  • Whole-of-Government Response
  • Community Engagement
  • Cultural Imperatives
  • Strategic Planning and Capacity Building
  • Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Systems Change and Sustainability framework


Importance of Addressing Youth Violence

Many studies on youth violence and crime in the Caribbean have presented a wide range of reasons for the growing phenomenon which has put Jamaica and other Caribbean countries in precariously dangerous positions.  While identification of the problems is an important starting point, we find that there is a lot more to offer in terms of solutions. This Project will offer actionable and sustainable recommendations and solutions to all Caribbean countries.  In order to focus our discussion and analysis more specifically, particular emphasis is placed on Jamaica with the largest cohorts of youth in the English-speaking Caribbean, while offering transferrable and adaptable solutions across the entire Caribbean region.


Members of the Diaspora with considerable amount of expertise in various aspects of youth violence and prevention provide us with an opportunity to frame a holistic approach to this phenomenon.  Our experts not only will examine the root causes of youth violence and what sustains it, but examine and recommend ways to deal with it. They will offer recommendations and solutions which will require commitment to effective and sustained action by government, the private sector, and civil society in Jamaica and countries across the Caribbean, and their commitment to collaborative work dealing with the problem.  Many of these recommendations will be drawn from lessons learned in Jamaica and the Caribbean, as well as proven international standards and best practices that may be applicable to the regions cultural and social dynamics. In that context, they will offer uniquely holistic approaches which take into consideration the cultural and social environments prevalent in Jamaican and Caribbean societies. The unique expertise and cultural experiences of our experts and their abilities to integrate cultural and social norms into recommended solutions is an important factor employed throughout this comprehensive approach.


It is desired that governments and other stakeholders will review the Report and its recommendations to identify where they may be relevant and undertake steps to implement them.  The Caribbean Research & Policy Center will stand ready to offer further support and guidance towards this end.


For more information about the project and upcoming guide, please contact Ambassador Curtis A. Ward at

© 2018 Caribbean Research and Policy Center, Inc.