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4.0.Community Renewal Strategy:

The Quest for Human Security and Social Renewal

4.1Making the Case

“All three areas (Tivoli Gardens, Arnett Gardens and selected enclaves of Spanish Town) were oriented to crime and depreciation of the value of life by the process which established them as garrisons.  They have never recovered morally from the deliberate and methodical conscription of the urban poor into partisan political militia.” (Arnold Bertram, Gleaner, November 6, 2005)


The report of the National Committee on Political Tribalism (July 23, 1997) dispelled any misconceptions one might have had concerning the formation of garrisons; the motive, intent or operation.

4.1.2.The advent of garrisons marked the descent of Jamaica into anarchistic behaviour.

Today, they are without exception zones of exclusion characterized by endemic poverty and criminally-acquired wealth, poor social services, crumbling infrastructure; ineffective policing; appalling sanitation and negative stereo-typing by the rest of the society; making them breeding grounds for the criminality that threatens to overwhelm the country.  These communities are very organized and there have been many cases of individuals leading a successful life (livelihood development, educational achievement, and so on), despite many of the problems that these communities face. Such positive cases suggest that there may be indeed the possibility of renewal.    

4.1.3.Constituencies with strong urban garrison features amount to 20% of all political constituencies in Jamaica. Yet in 2005 these constituencies (along with the urban areas of St. James) accounted for 1,333 of the 1,674 (79%) of the murders in Jamaica.  Applying Pareto Principle (also called the 80/20 rule), one can reasonably locate the preponderance of root causes and political antecedents of crime and violence in these communities.

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