By Dana Niland
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $20 million loan to aid in reducing crime and violence in The Bahamas.
The loan will be particularly targeting at-risk youths and improving the institutional functions of the justice system, among other actions.
Crime has been increasing steadily in The Bahamas, reaching a homicide rate of 31.5 per 100,000 in recent years.
Violence is particularly prevalent among young males and in inter-personal and community disputes, with contributing factors of high unemployment rates, slow court systems, and a high rate of repeat offenders, the IDB said.
The project will consist of four components, the first of which is to promote non-violent conflict resolution in New Providence – where crime is particularly high – by implementing evidence-based interventions to combat social norms that perpetuate the acceptance of violence.
Another component aims to help at-risk youth secure jobs through training and employability programs.
The program will also strive to better the justice administration system in regard to prosecuting and sentencing crimes by including an integrated electronic system for case management and mechanisms for innovative dispute resolutions.
The fourth component seeks to help “seamlessly reintegrate” offenders into society through the development and implementation of a comprehensive rehabilitation system and a curriculum founded on evidence-based practices.