Monday, February 19, 2018

Ryan gets a million


on the floor: Leader of Government Business Dr Roodal Monilal during yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Mark Fraser

Political scientist Prof Selwyn Ryan received $1 million for his work on the Government-commissioned Report on Youth and Crime. 

Ryan chaired the five-man team which prepared the report.

The other members were paid substantially less—fellow academics Indira Rampersad received $400,000; Patricia Mohammed $200,00; Marjorie Thorpe $200,000; and Lennox Bernard $200,000. 

This information was provided to the House of Representatives yesterday by Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal in response to a question from Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner. 

Moonilal said among the issues the report examined were masculinity and crime; are young men of African descent more at risk than those of Indian descent; the dynamics of gang behaviour; the drug crisis and crime; prison reform, the justice system and policing; the influence of pop music on crime; education and training institutions; giving sport a chance; and national service.

The minister cited some of the report’s recommendations such as a comprehensive review of all social programmes to determine their effectiveness in reducing crime; the establishment of drug treatment courts; the establishment and strengthening of mediation centres, especially in disadvantaged communities; and active support from the Government for research on the organisation of crime.

Moonilal said the Prime Minister had mandated each minister to address the recommendations which fall within his/her respective portfolio and submit proposals to the Cabinet in respect of the implementation.

He said this exercise is ongoing. He noted, however, that most ministries had ongoing programmes in the areas highlighted in the recommendations. 

He added in the areas of masculinity and crime, parent and community partnership, national and community service, the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development had extended its programmes in these areas to spread across Trinidad and Tobago.

Moonilal said in the area of technical and vocational training, the ministries of Education and Tertiary Education were tailoring their programme to suit the needs of their clients, particularly in the disadvantaged communities.

He added that the Ministry of Sport was also expanding its programmes to ensure there was greater access to them by young people in targeted communities pursuant to the recommendation in the report of using sport to enhance life and develop coping skills.

Moonilal said the ministries of the Attorney General and National Security were pursuing implementation strategies pertaining to the dynamics of gang behaviour and drug crisis, while the Judiciary was “actively pursuing” the idea of the establishment of drug centres. 

On the general recommendations, Moonilal said the Government had appointed an intersectoral committee, chaired by Minister of Gender Clifton De Coteau, which was reviewing the recommendations to ensure they were being addressed holistically and that the necessary monitoring and evaluation mechanisms were in place to achieve the desired impact and outcome.

The Ministry (of Gender) is due to submit its report by next month.