Policy Responses and Security Discourses Among State Actors and Civil Society Groups
The security of the state is the main preoccupation of policy elites in Jamaica. The national security objectives of (re)gaining state authority, reducing violent threats and ensuring the survival of the state are often pursued through suppressive interventions which target garrisons in Kingston and other marginalized spaces where gang-related violence is prevalent. These interventions include states of emergency, which suspend citizenship rights, joint-police military operations and hard policing, with tangential efforts at citizen security and community policing. These interventions have invited criticisms from those directly affected as well as from civil society groups for their lack of attention to citizenship rights and for favouring state security and a suppressive policy approach to security. The chapter draws on interviews conducted among global and national policy actors from various organizations, including the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Department of International Development (DFID), Ministry of National Security, Jamaicans for Justice and the Violence Prevention Alliance.