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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77907 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Treatment in Jamaica (From Crime and Punishment in the Caribbean, P 52-57, 1980, Rosemary Brana-Shute and Gray Brana-Shute, ed. - See NCJ-77904)
Author(s): D Allen
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32603
Sale Source: University Press of Florida
15 15th Street, NW
Gainesville, FL 32603
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The extent of crime in Jamaica and the ways in which legislation, law enforcement, and corrections have dealt with it are discussed.
Abstract: The postindependence period (after 1962) saw a gradual increase in crime in Jamaica, with violent crimes rising sharply in 1969-1976. This resulted in the public's calling for strong sanctions. Legislation in the 1970's included (1) the Dangerous Drugs Act, which increased penalties for persons involved in the cultivation, trafficking, and possession of drugs; (2) the Firearms Act, which tightened the issuing of gun licenses; (3) the Gun Court Act, which provides for life imprisonment for any person illegally possessing firearms; and (4) the Juveniles Act, which provides that juveniles over 14 years old charged with gun offenses will be processed as adults. Other legislation during this period included the Suppression of Crime Act, which increased police powers in preventing and detecting crime; the Exchange Control Act, which increased penalties for illicit outflow of currency; the Criminal Justice Reform Act, which increased sentencing options; and the Parole Act, which provides for the introduction of a parole system. In the law enforcement area, the public, particularly the lower class elements and those involved in the Rastafarian subculture, views the police as discriminatory in their enforcement of the law. This perception increases hostility between certain segments of society and the police, which in turn tends to fuel violent crime. Corrections efforts are beginning to focus on community-based programs as alternatives to imprisonment, which is increasingly viewed as counterproductive, except where the incapacitation of dangerous and violent offenders is concerned. Ten notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Drug laws; Gun Control; Jamaica; Police discretion
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