Nation getting $132.4 million for social, police programs

The country is borrowing $132.4 million to set up a number of social programs directed at school dropouts, drug users, convicts and police training.

Of that amount, the security ministry will get $23 million for infrastructure and equipment for the police forces under its command.

The money comes from the Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo and has a five-year grace period. After that, the loan has to be paid back in 20 years, according to an announcement.

Youngsters who leave school will be targeted by programs that build and equip community centers and justice centers that will promote conflict resolution, said the announcement. Also planned are schools of music, art, sports and care centers for babies with the participation of public and private entities, the announcement said.

Another major focus is what is being called social reinsertion for persons in conflict with the law. The money in this area will be used for treatment of addicts and will include construction and development of educational and labor centers, some of which are under the Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje, the national training service, said the announcement.

Additional money will go to community programs that reduce repetition of crime and improve the work of those in the Dirección General de Adaptación Social, the prison agency.

The security ministry said it expects to construct a police academy with an emphasis on prevention of violence, improve police selection both for officers in the community and those guarding the prisons.

Costa Rica will be contributing $55.3 million to these programs, the security ministry said.

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