Categorized | National News

IDB Approves $20 Million for Crime Reduction

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to help reduce crime and violence in The Bahamas, targeting at risk youth and strengthening institutional capabilities of the justice system, among other actions.

The announcement of this $20 million loan was made by Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage yesterday during the Conference of Caribbean Heads of Corrections at the British Colonial Hilton.

“This is a red letter day for the system of combating crime in The Bahamas,” Dr. Nottage said. It takes a whole lot of money to keep one single person in our jail system. We find if far better that we can equip those persons to return to society, lead a crime free life and look after themselves and their families.”

The Bahamas has seen a steady increase in its crime and violence rates, with a homicide rate of 31.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013. Many victims are young and male, and killed with firearms.

Violence is especially acute in the island of New Providence, where the capital, Nassau, is located, with high rates of murders and armed robberies.

Recent statistics points to a prevalence of violence to solve inter-personal and community disputes, especially among youth. This is occurring in a context of high unemployment rates (30.8 percent in 2014 among 15-24 year olds), slow court systems and high rates of recidivism.

The project is made up of four components.

The first component seeks to improve behaviours for non-violent conflict resolution in New Providence by including differentiated evidence-based interventions to address social norms that promote the acceptance of violence.

The second component aims to help at-risk youth find jobs through training and employability programs.

The third component seeks to strengthen the justice administration system to better prosecute and sentence crimes by including, among others, an integrated electronic system for case management and the introduction of innovative dispute resolutions mechanisms.

The fourth component seeks to better help reintegrate offenders to society through activities such as the design and implementation of a comprehensive rehabilitation model and a curriculum built on evidence-based practices.

The IDB loan has a 25-year amortization period and is based on the LIBOR rate.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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