Following concerns about the effectiveness of Jamaica’s Witness Protection Program, Criminologist Dr. Jason McKay is reassuring persons that the program is in fact, one of the best worldwide.
In its years of operation, the program boasts no death of any witnesses involved. Concerns surrounding the effectiveness of the Jamaican witness protection program have resurfaced, in light of five of the accused in the Klansman Gang Trial being acquitted of their charges, including murder.
Social media commentary reveals many are questioning the safety of witnesses involved in that trial, and ultimately all witnesses in the judicial process. However, Criminologist and Security Expert Dr. Jason McKay is reassuring Jamaicans that the program is extremely safe, as he notes no one has ever died while on the program.
He says the issue is usually disobedience, as witnesses often, without permission, leave the program. Dr. McKay notes the program is a big adjustment, as strict measures are implemented to ensure safety. Subsequently, he says some persons shy away from that responsibility.
However, he says the Vybz Kartel case resulted in more persons being open to becoming witnesses. To be protected under the witness protection program, an assessment is done to determine if the person is under reasonable threat, after which additional assessment is done to determine where that person will be relocated, to avoid risk.
Reporter: Velonique Bowen