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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.

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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.

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