Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Garrison politics creating psychopaths – university lecturer

Published:Monday | December 19, 2016 | 8:51 AM

A university lecturer has concluded that garrison politics has played a greater role in creating killers than slavery.

Senior lecturer in political psychology at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Dr Christopher Charles, arrived at that conclusion based on a recent study he conducted.

Psychopathy is traditionally defined as a personality disorder characterised by persistent antisocial behaviour; impaired empathy and remorse; and bold, disinhibited, egotistical traits.

The study found that the horrific criminal experiences that many children encounter have created a cycle of psychopathic behaviours among them.

It says this has resulted in many becoming some of Jamaica’s most wanted ‘shottas’.

Charles says some 21 per cent of Jamaica’s members of parliament contribute to the murderous environment of garrison constituencies they represent.

He says the politicians benefit electorally from the undemocratic politics practised in these communities and therefore, these legislators provide tacit support for gang-based psychopaths in Jamaica.

According to him the country’s high homicide rate has nothing to do with the enslavement of Africans during British colonialism.

He blames what he says is the interaction of psychopathy with the adverse environment created by the politics of underdevelopment led by the political elite and their political alliance with criminal gangs to gain electoral advantage.

He says over many decades, this alliance laid the foundation for the creation of killers.

Charles says his study measured psychopathy among a cohort of shooters from two violent garrison communities in Jamaica.