CSSP targets skills training for crime reduction
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, February 15, 2018
Hundreds of youths aged sixteen to twenty-five from twenty selected communities are being targeted for skills training as a crime reduction strategy under component one of the three-pronged, Citizens Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP).
The project aims (1) to improve behaviours of at risk-youths in targeted communities in Regions Three, Four, Five, Six, and Ten, for non-violent conflict resolution; (2) increase Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) efficiency in crime prevention and crime investigation nationally and (3) improve the Guyana Prison Service’s (GPS) effectiveness in reducing offender recidivism.
The twenty targeted communities and their youths are expected to benefit from increased human and social capacity, with the incorporation of different strategies to ensure that they become crime resistant.
To date, there are 392 students enrolled in training institutions such as the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI), Carnegie School of Home Economics, Sophia Special School, and Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC), undertaking studies in the areas of catering, plumbing, data operations, masonry among others.
Project Manager of the CSSP, Clement Henry told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the intervention is data-driven and takes into consideration the needs identified by previous investigations.
“In developing resilience, we start with a data approach in our epidemiological approach to crime prevention. There’s Scanning, Analysis, Response and then Assessment (SARA Model) we do detailed scanning which will help us with an understanding of the needs of the communities. What are the assets of the communities? That is, structures and individuals who can contribute to crime prevention.”
Further, Henry said the data gathered from the needs assessment activities will be used as a guide for the development and implementation of a rapid impact project.
“The needs assessment when completed will provide the base data for us to do the rapid impact project, for us to have a community safety plan and for us to have the community organisations that we have developed, something for them to work with beyond the life of the project.”
This component of the CSSP has so far seen the establishment of Community Action Councils (CAC) in 18 of the 20 communities selected. The CAC’s are intended to function as Community Governance structures that will help in the mobilisation of the districts, crime prevention and implementation of the programs developed.
According to Henry, the programme’s activities are aimed mainly at school dropouts who have attained school leaving age. However, it also caters to high school graduates who are unskilled or under-educated.
In instances where dropouts are of school-going age, they are encouraged to return to school so that the Ministry of Education’s mandate may be fulfilled. If efforts to return to school prove futile, the dropouts are directed to a literacy component of the CSSP which is intended to begin in March 2018.
“Once they have passed school age we direct them to the skills training programme at our technical institutes across the country. Some lack the capacity to be involved in the technical and vocational programmes, so what we do is we build their capacity and have them involved in programmes that require less academic rigour. For them, we intend to engage private training and working with the Ministry of Social Protection to have these young people trained with the Board of Industrial Training programmes,” Henry added.
The community action component of the Citizens Security Strengthening Programme also includes remedial education, job-readiness training, job placement, entrepreneurship training, mentoring, counselling and psychological skills training, and literacy programmes all directed towards ensuring youths are made crime resistant.
By: Stephon Gabriel
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