Categorized | Featured, National News

Citizen Security and Justice Program Launched


cITIZENS fOR jUSTICE -TOP PHOTOYesterday signaled the official launch of the Citizen Security and Justice Program which plans to target issues driving crime in The Bahamas.


A $20 million loan was given by the Inter-Development Bank (IDB) earlier this year during the signing at the Baha Mar Convention Centre.


Some of those issues identified which cause crime were a lack of conflict resolution skills; youth unemployment; an overwhelmed justice system and a deficient rehabilitative correctional process.


Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage says the programme represents the “single largest investment in a coordinated and comprehensive policy to address crime” in The Bahamas.


“This investment goes beyond supplying new arms to police officers or building more prison cells for incarceration. These are important steps, but they do not address the primary drivers of crime in The Bahamas,” Dr. Nottage said at the Programme’s launch at the British Colonial Hilton.


“Instead, through social interventions for non-violent conflict resolution, youth employment training, the strengthening of the Public Employment Services, the continuation of the successful work of the Swift Justice Initiative, and through a focus on the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, we are employing a wide-ranging, strategic approach to ensure the safety of our citizens.”


Dr. Nottage said the government has already begun to address a number of the issues identified as the driving forces for crime within The Bahamas through initiatives already implemented or about to be implemented in a cross-section of ministries.


These include the Ministries of National Security, Social Services and Community Development the Office of the Attorney-General and Legal Affairs and Labour and National Insurance.


Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson hailed the Swift Justice Programme and other initiatives of the Office of Attorney-General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, which reduced case backlogs.


Minister of Social Services Melanie Griffin highlighted the facilitation of the National Strategic Plan to Address Gender-Based Violence, and a renewed focus on defending the safety of children throughout Bahamian communities; key linkages in the overarching plan the Citizens Security and Justice Programme represents.


Meanwhile, the government has appointed a Parole and Re-entry Steering Committee whose task is to propose a policy framework for a parole system and interventions for the seamless reintegration of past offenders into Bahamian society.


Officials say the importance of a parole police framework cannot be underestimated as “more and more, we are recognizing that prisons are exacerbating criminal behavior, not curbing it.”


“I believe that with the launch of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, we have taken another step toward a safer and more secure Bahamas,” Dr. Nottage said.


“Together, with a deep consideration of the challenges we face and action with clear purpose and intention, we will win the war on crime.”




Written by Jones Bahamas

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