Minister of National Security Peter Bunting has signed an agreement to increase support for the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) by US$11.5 million (J$1 billion) for the second phase of the community intervention initiative.
Bunting on Wednesday joined Dr Peter Phillips, finance minister; Inter-American Development Bank representative Ancile Brewster; and British High Commissioner Howard Drake at a signing ceremony.
The funds were granted by the United Kingdom via its Department for International Development (DFID).
The increased funding will see CSJP II continuing the ministry's mandate of advancing community safety and security in an additional 11 communities, thus taking its interventions to needy and at-risk youth in 50 of Jamaica's most volatile communities.
Bunting commended the CSJP for its intervention efforts, and noted that talented young persons who were being drafted into illegal activities such as lottery scamming, were posing a challenge and should be targeted by the CSJP's culture-change initiatives, especially through social marketing.
He stressed that approaches must go beyond the traditional.
"Increasingly, we have to look at the social marketing component of CSJP to really impact the culture and the thinking of our young people in these at-risk communities," said the security minister.
"Now, we find many of the participants in the lottery scam, for example, are not those who didn't get a good high-school education, are not those who didn't have legitimate, attractive alternatives career-wise, but they are using their skills, their education, and their initiative just in a very dysfunctional way."
Phillips also lauded DFID's expansion of funding to CSJP, calling it a move that would help to improve the social and economic opportunities for at-risk youth.
The funds will be used to underwrite activities such as community mobilisation and governance; the delivery of violence-prevention services, including tuition support, skills training for at-risk youth, and job placement; the establishment of community multi-purpose centres; the development of restorative justice policy and the establishment of community justice centres; and social marketing and public education campaigns.