• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Crime and violence is a problem that affects all areas of the world, but in the Caribbean region, especially Jamaica, crime and violence has reached endemic proportions.

Extracts from this document...


The University of the West Indies Name: Toni-Jan Pryce Course: Social Psychology Code: PS21D CRIME AND VIOLENCE IN THE CARIBBEAN Crime and violence is a problem that affects all areas of the world, but in the Caribbean region, especially Jamaica, crime and violence has reached endemic proportions. Crime can be defined as an act punishable by law, which is an activity going against the laws of a country. Crime constitutes things like murders (homicides), kidnappings, drug dealings and use, domestic violence and manslaughter among others. Violence on the other hand, is the undue exercise of physical force. This social problem is significant because it is important to evaluate crime, to know how it is generated, why it happens, what its consequences are and how it affects society, so that it can be dealt with in a proper manner and hopefully can decrease it over time. Violent crime in Jamaica has been given wide attention from policy makers and the general population. The sharp increase in crimes of violence in Jamaica has continued without decreasing in strength for two decades. The physical and social landscape of the country has been altered by this violent crime wave. Barbed-wire fences and burglar bars have become a norm in the architecture of the urban areas. One of the fastest growing sectors in Jamaica is the private security sector (Phillips 1988). ...read more.


Crime Trends reports done in Jamaica identified poverty as a primary cause of gang violence, since low income in the family can lead to the separation of children from their loved ones. Poverty is also said to be the reason there are children working as sex slaves in the islands tourism sector. It may also be responsible for juveniles transporting drugs on behalf of South American cartels. Overall, poverty increases the vulnerability of both children and adults to commit criminal activity. Another factor that contributes to the high levels of crime and violence in Jamaica is the high unemployment rates. Unemployment rates in Jamaica are high averaging around 15.5%. It is difficult for unskilled youths, especially school dropouts, to enter the labour force because of the high unemployment rates. Many of these unemployed youths have dropped out of the education system and are left with large amounts of free time, no skills, and few prospects for employment. This has led many, particularly male youth, to become involved with drugs and criminal activity. Several recent studies done in the Jamaica, show that the perpetrators of most crime are males between 16 and 34 years of age. Many are unemployed or unskilled labourers. Over the last year, Jamaica has lost at least 11,000 jobs, largely in the financial and manufacturing sector, and some say that the unemployment rate is closer to 20%. ...read more.


Therefore more than half of the subjects went all the way in administering the shocks. This experiment yielded very surprising findings. The first is that subjects have learned from birth that it is a fundamental breach of moral conduct to hurt another person against his will. Yet, 26 subjects complied with the experimental commands. Therefore we can assume that the individual who is commanded by a legitimate authority ordinarily obeys. Obedience comes easily and often. It is a ubiquitous and indispensable feature of social life. Hence, if persons can obey when told by an authority figure to administer electric shocks to an innocent individual, then we can assume that a person may obey an authority figure if told to commit a crime or an act of violence. So, in conclusion we see that the phenomenon of crime and violence is a widespread problem that Jamaica is facing right now. For twenty years crime and violence in Jamaica has increased without any decrease in strength. There are many factors that contribute to crime and violence in Jamaica, poverty, high levels of unemployment and drug trafficking and use. Also shown in this paper is that social psychology can be used to combat the evils of crime and violence in Jamaica. Experiments on prejudice and discrimination and social influence shows that there are ways we can understand the backgrounds of crime and violence, so we can then try to eliminate this problem that is plaguing or country. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Criminology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Criminology essays

  1. Methods of Uncovering the Dark Figure of Crime

    Local surveys are small scale and geographically focused. They concentrate on a particular vulnerable social group (Coleman and Moynihan 1996). National surveys, such as the British Crime Survey, examine a larger group of individuals to gain an overall idea of the extent of crime. They are conducted in partnering countries, which are then compare results (Coleman and Moynihan 1996).

  2. Who is to blame for crime: the individual or society?

    Some researchers (e.g. Plomin (1994), Rowe (1994) and Scarr & McCartney (1983)) had suggested that similarities between parent and child are the result of genetic influence. Thus, previous researchers have argued that genetic influence not only a child's behaviour but the behaviour of parent as well.

  1. prevention of youth crime

    This was the Restorative Justice system. The core theory of the restorative justice was the restoration of the victims, offenders and community to mainstream society. Where possible the restorative justice system aimed to move the offender through the issue of offence rather than punish the offender. (AIC: 2004 Pg: 1)

  2. The murder of Sarah Payne was a major/high profile murder case in Kingston gorse, ...

    The first of evidence that was taken into consideration was the shoe. This shoe was the only piece of clothing to be found that was black and had a Velcro strap which had trapped 350 fibers. When the fibers were tested they came back with the results that matched her school sweatshirt and blue polyester fibers.

  1. Free essay

    What do media representations of crime and crime statistics tell us about the way ...

    (D315 Policy File; Jewkes, 2006, pp7-9, 13). Despite such newspaper publications, many people argue that the media has no adverse effects on society; there have been numerous amounts of documentation, experiments and studies that prove otherwise. It is apparent that today's media is filled with criminal content, salacious materials and extreme violence.

  2. Examine the relationship between crime and culture in contemporary British society. This essay is ...

    as from their point of view it is an essential public problem. Crime also involves a loss for many different groups of people. For example, in a murder crime there is always a loss for the victim?s family and the criminal?s family.

  1. Domestic violence

    Furthermore, most of these people are thinking that, this is a ?normal? behaviour and this is how they suppose to behave, it is because the way they grow up.

  2. Would the legalization of drugs in America be a good thing?

    This number would more than likely increase if drugs were easier to get a hold of. Plus, the United States would be in violation of an international treaty if they created a legal market in hard drugs, marijuana, etc. We are signed to the Single Convention on Narcotics and the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work