Psychopathy and the Shooters of Garrison Communities

26 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2016

See all articles by Christopher Charles

Christopher Charles

University of the West Indies

Gleasia Reid

University of the West Indies (Mona), Department of Government, Students

Date Written: October 22, 2016


Objective: The shooters are the backbone of the security structure in garrison communities in Jamaica. The shooters beat or kill residents for community infractions on behalf of the dons in the informal justice system. These criminals also defend the dons with guns when there are internal challenges to the dons’ authority and power. High-powered assault rifles are also used to defend the community from rival criminal gangs as well as the army and the police. This study seeks to understand the shooters psychologically based on their roles and functions in the garrisons.

Method: The hypothesis of the study states that there is a positive relationship between psychopathy and being a shooter. The Psychopathic Personality Trait Scale was administered to a convenience sample of 201 residents (103 shooters and 98 non-shooters) in two garrison communities. Community residents with university education were trained to administer the instrument.

Results: An independent-samples t-test was conducted to compare the shooters and non-shooters on psychopathy to determine if the two groups were statistically different. The results show that there is a statistically significant difference in the psychopathy scores for shooters (M=61.16, SD=10.242) and non-shooters (M=58.4, SD=8.506); t (199) = 2.071, p < 0.04) so the shooters are psychopaths.

Conclusion: The shooters’ psychopathic personality interacts with their environmental experiences leading to their deadly actions. Some possible interrelated environmental factors are adverse childhood experiences, development of a war zone mentality, social toxicity and the benefits of joining a gang.

Suggested Citation

Charles, Christopher and Reid, Gleasia, Psychopathy and the Shooters of Garrison Communities (October 22, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Christopher Charles (Contact Author)

University of the West Indies ( email )

Kingston 7
Mona, Mona Kingston 7

Gleasia Reid

University of the West Indies (Mona), Department of Government, Students ( email )


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