Youth Violence and Organized Crime in Jamaica : Causes and Counter-Measures

This grant will allow the Institute for Criminal Justice and Security (ICJS) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to characterize the nature of the relationship between youth gangs and organized crime in Jamaica. Researchers will explore the environment created by organized criminal enterprises, and how it is used to recruit youth gangs in socially excluded communities.

The study is expected to provide insight into the links between youth violence and organized crime, and how they lead to violent political mobilization with the potential to undermine democratic governance. In light of the burgeoning role played by women in organized crime and violence, researchers will endeavor to characterize the motivation, extent and mechanisms of their involvement. The ICJS will go beyond most research in this field by investigating the efficacy of social interventions in targeted Jamaican communities, identifying the most potent approaches to violence prevention, and characterizing the environments in which they are most effective. The outcomes are expected to include a shift toward community-based policing, better targeting of interventions to reduce gang formation and more appropriate educational and employment opportunities for youth at risk.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Monday, October 25, 2010

End Date

Friday, October 26, 2012


24 months

IDRC Officer

Gottsbacher, Markus

Total funding

CA$ 267,600


North and Central America, South America, West Indies, Jamaica


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Elizabeth Ward


University of the West Indies

Institution Country


Institution Website