Perry Center Director Provides Keynote at Conference in Jamaica
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14 Feb 2024

On 7 February, in Kingston, Jamaica, Perry Center Director Paul Angelo participated in a seminar titled “Organized Violence and the Threat to Peace in Jamaica and the Region,” hosted by the Jamaican Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA). Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, inaugurated the annual seminar, which aims to understand diverse perspectives from practitioners and researchers on the challenges posed by violent offenders and transnational crime in the Caribbean region. Prime Minister Holness noted that Jamaica would not solve its high homicide rate through mere incarceration and stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of violence. He stated, “Individual rights, whether they are for criminals or not, are important. That is what defines us as Jamaicans.”

Dr. Paul Angelo

In Dr. Angelo’s presentation, “Armed Violence Reduction and Prevention: Jamaica in a Comparative Perspective,” the director advocated for a nuanced understanding of violence reduction as both a public health issue and a law enforcement issue. By analyzing best practices in homicide prevention and data-driven policing from other regional contexts, Dr. Angelo underscored the importance of holistic strategies that link ministries of security, defense, health, and justice with civil society and the international community. He remarked, “The harm reduction approach—one that identified both risk factors and protective factors—worked when implemented correctly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same can be true for our hemisphere’s violence epidemic.”

At the conclusion of the seminar, Dr. Angelo engaged in discussions with key interlocutors from the government of Jamaica, including the Minister of National Security, the Honorable Dr. Horace Chang; the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Alison Sone Roofe; and the Director of Public Prosecutions from the Ministry of Justice, Paula V. Llewellyn. Participating in a panel with Police Commissioner MG Antony Anderson, Dr. Angelo applauded the Jamaican government’s recently released Citizen Security Plan and emphasized the need for good data collection and processing to ensure the plan’s successful implementation. The seminar also featured presentations from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on the threats of lottery scams and firearms trafficking. Overall, Dr. Angelo’s presentation and participation showcased the Perry Center’s ongoing commitment to enhancing regional security and defense institutions through interagency collaboration and international cooperation.