Skip to main content
“We Are Like Prey”: How People Negotiate a Violent Community in Trinidad and Tobago
Race and Justice (2012)
  • Ericka Briana Adams, San Jose State University
Urban communities in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago have transformed into war zones; citizens report that crime and violence are the primary problems incapacitating their communities. Research has focused on the heightened levels of national homicide rates, gang violence, and juvenile delinquency. However, often ignored is how violence is negotiated and compromises the lives of citizens in Trinidad and Tobago. Using a grounded theory approach and 30 semistructured interviews with community members, this article investigates citizens’ responses to violence in an underprivileged predominantly Black community in Northwest Trinidad. Results suggest that the social and environmental context of the neighborhood fosters residents’ refusal to report witnessed violence, women’s implementation of self-imposed ecological imprisonment, and residents’ use of strategies (e.g., building walls) to create distance between them and other community members. Policy implications involve enhancing citizens’ sense of security and revitalizing bonds between community members.
  • street crime,
  • crime,
  • race,
  • class,
  • and gender articulation,
  • criminological theories,
  • citizen satisfaction,
  • race and policing,
  • Caribbean,
  • race/ethnicity,
  • collective efficacy
Publication Date
October, 2012
Publisher Statement
SJSU users: use the following link to login and access the article via SJSU databases.
Citation Information
Ericka Briana Adams. "“We Are Like Prey”: How People Negotiate a Violent Community in Trinidad and Tobago" Race and Justice Vol. 2 Iss. 4 (2012) p. 274 - 303 ISSN: 2153-3687
Available at: