USAID is working to prevent youth crime and violence by supporting quality education in schools, providing services that support increased economic opportunities for youth, and working with Dominican government institutions to transform the law enforcement and justice sector into one that is efficient, effective, and transparent.
At the community level, USAID works with youth who are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities by helping them stay in school, helping those who have dropped out to return to school, and helping youth find lucrative employment. USAID partners with public and private stakeholders to provide market-demanded technical-vocational training and helps young people get necessary identity documentation and health services.
To strengthen the institutional effectiveness of the Dominican justice system and reduce perceptions of impunity, USAID targets entities such as the National Police, the National Prosecutor’s Office, judges, and civil society organizations to improve law enforcement’s responsiveness to crime and violence and the resolution of criminal matters. Specifically, USAID provides training and technical assistance to improve transparency, accountability, professionalism, and the overall institutional capacity of the Attorney General’s Office, the courts, and the National Police. By working with these diverse government institutions, USAID is improving case coordination between the police, prosecutors, and judges while also improving processing and prosecution of gender-based violence (GBV) cases. In addition, USAID is increasing access to justice for and improving the criminal justice system institutions’ treatment of key vulnerable groups as it pursues interventions that expand access to justice for victims of crime and violence.
To support the enabling environment for crime prevention, USAID supports strengthening students’ abilities to read and perform other basic skills in early grades so that they can command higher wages and be more likely to choose licit employment over criminal activity. USAID works with the Ministry of Education and other donors to strengthen school governance and safety, as well as increase learning opportunities for children with disabilities. USAID is also working with vulnerable populations like the LGBTI community and people with disabilities to increase opportunities for their economic, educational, and political participation, and reduce the risk of victimization and discrimination.