Recognizing the threat of crime, violence, and transnational criminal organizations to the United States and Caribbean region, the United States launched the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) in 2010. CBSI is a shared Caribbean-U.S. security partnership that fulfills the U.S. commitment to deepen Caribbean security cooperation, particularly among Caribbean states.

Jamaica ranks tenth globally and number one in the western hemisphere for homicides. Crime and violence have been identified as the main impairment to Jamaica’s economic growth and levy heavy costs on Jamaican society. Jamaican youth are both the main victims and perpetrators of crime and violence. Thus, USAID’s CBSI programming in Jamaica uses a variety of approaches to prevent youth crime and violence. 

Community Safety and Security: USAID collaborates with multiple stakeholders to build safer communities and family resilience. Through a community-driven approach, USAID strengthens the capacity of families and communities to leverage economic and social resources to prevent youth violence. Building upon past successes with community-based policing, USAID helps strengthen the relationship between citizens, in particular youth, and law enforcement in targeted communities. USAID also focuses on strengthening community-based and civil society organizations, promoting family and community-driven efforts, developing long-term champions of a culture of lawfulness, and enhancing government ministries, departments and agencies to be more community-oriented institutions. In this way, USAID contributes to building safer communities, strengthening social cohesion, and improving civic engagement/participation.  

Youth Resiliency: USAID supports holistic, positive youth development approaches that aim to assist at-risk youth in becoming active citizens through the engagement of different social, educational and behavioral, and recreational activities. This approach includes three main areas regarding youth who are most at risk of involvement in criminal and violent activities: prevention, intervention and rehabilitation, including diversion activities as alternatives to traditional incarceration for first-time offenders. Youth also develop skills through programs that introduce them to fundamental concepts in business, economics, individual accountability, and entrepreneurship.

USAID expects that life-skills and technical training will increase opportunities for at-risk youth to work within the legitimate economy, thereby reducing the likelihood of involvement in gang and criminal activity. In Jamaica, relationships with key public sector, private sector, and civil society partners are being leveraged to create programs to build skills and identify work and other economic livelihood options for youth. USAID also works in the youth remandee centers, which includes case management and follow up to facilitate at-risk youth acquiring job and education opportunities and reintegrating into their communities when they are released.

Support for Democracy and Human Rights

Strengthening Democracy: USAID programming ensures effective implementation of key election related regulations and improves public confidence and citizen participation in Jamaica’s electoral processes. USAID partners with key GoJ and civil society institutions to help strengthen Jamaica’s electoral process, improve citizens’ participation in elections, and support the organization of free, fair, and democratic elections. Our assistance facilitates the organization of debates among political party leaders and observation of the electoral operations on election day, for both general and local elections. 

Human Rights Assistance:  USAID supports interventions that promote and protect human rights, including the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Jamaicans.  Our LGBTI human rights programming aims to: strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations; address stigma and violence; and protect LGBTI people from harm and violence.


Community Safety and Security, building upon past successes with Community Based Policing.

USAID focuses on the strengthening of Community Based and Civil Society Organizations, the promotion of community-driven activities and the development of long-term champions of a culture of lawfulness.