JAMAICA: Change the Culture; Reduce the Crime / Jamaica Gleaner / THE EDITOR, Sir:
We are a traumatised nation. This status is due to the marauding gunmen who hold the nation hostage in a reign of terror. They have killed at least 1,112 people within the last 10 months. The national security minister and the police commissioner have announced initiatives to neutralise the menace of a brutal crime sector, however, successful interventions must focus on holistic and strategic social transformation. It will require ample resources and public will.
Social transformation will be a Herculean task. Our values for hard work, honesty and humaneness have been greatly compromised. These ideals are supplanted by ferocity and corrupt practices. We claim material satisfaction when we beat the system using our ‘bligh’ network of co-conspirators to abuse the rest of us; or when a police investigation is compromised by our conspiracy of silence or lies. We mock poverty by using it as an alibi for lawlessness, disorder and disrespect. As a nation, we must change this belief
Ordinary law-enforcement modalities alone are inadequate to deal with this challenge. Our law-enforcement machinery MUST be overhauled and upgraded for improved efficiency. Periodic testing and culling of personnel should be routinised. The British should be persuaded to broaden their gift offer of a prison to include a mental health care component.
In addition, as a nation, we must use more effectively all available resources to change our current way of life. Our universities (social scientists), our families, our communities, churches and State should become part of the plan to craft crime-fighting public-education programmes; and to develop more efficacious methodologies for improving parenting skills and for the socialisation of our male children. Also, job opportunities should be developed so that ALL able-bodied adults are productively employed.
Barrie A. Walker
Con Información de Jamaica Gleaner
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