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Friday, April 07, 2006 

Deportee study results pending

published: Friday April 7, 2006

Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

ONE YEAR after National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, told Parliament that Government planned to commission a study on the impact deportees had on crime in Jamaica, the results are still pending.

Neville Graham, communications officer at the security ministry, told The Gleaner yesterday that the team conducting the study had been unable to meet its four-month deadline because of difficulties with data.

Mr. Graham said the ministry expects to release the findings of the study by mid-year. "I know that work on it is going on assiduously and we are expecting some good results," he said.

Dr. Phillips first spoke of the study in April 2005. He was responding to questions from Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) spokesman on crime Derrick Smith, who proposed that a comprehensive study on the influence deportees have on crime, be done.

Dr. Phillips said the study - done in tandem with the Planning Institute of Jamaica - would have started in October and be completed in four months.

Mr. Smith's queries came 11 years after amendments to the Criminal Justice Administration Act (known as the Deportee Bill). It requires deportees, among other things, to report to the nearest police station in their community.

"The fact that it took 10 years after the amendment to do a study is nothing short of negligent and incompetent," Mr. Smith told The Gleaner yesterday. He called on Dr. Phillips to comment on the progress of the study.


According to police figures, over 15,000 Jamaicans have been deported from overseas since 1997. Most of them were sent home from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Although several deportees such as former One Order gang leader, Oliver 'Bubba' Smith was linked to violence in Spanish Town, academics like University of the West Indies professor, Bernard Headley, has said there is no scientific evidence that they are responsible for the rise in crime throughout the country.

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