The Justice Ministry expended $1 billion between January 2019 and March 2020 to construct, renovate and retrofit justice facilities across the island, providing comfortable, safe and aesthetically pleasing surroundings for the delivery of justice services.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, in his contribution to the 2020/21 Sectoral Debate on June 24 said that a Victim Services Division (VSD) office was completed in Trelawny for approximately $31 million and a justice centre in St. Elizabeth for just over $24 million.
He said that the Ministry spent $29 million to relocate the staff and operations of the Manchester Parish Court after fire decimated the facility late last year.
“This swift action allowed for quick reconvening of parish court activities and commencement of circuit court,” he noted.
In addition, $35.5 million was allocated to renovate bathrooms across nine courthouses islandwide.
Other projects undertaken over the period included electrical upgrading at three justice centres and five courthouses for approximately $134.5 million.
“We installed information technology infrastructure, security cameras and air-conditioning units, as well as tiling and plumbing works,” Mr. Chuck said.
“The Trelawny Family Court was further retrofitted for close to $47 million to expand the building’s capacity as well as improve security and ventilation,” he told the House.
Mr. Chuck noted that during the year, child diversion offices were established in St. Catherine, Clarendon and Hanover, and justice centres in St. James, St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth, bringing to eight the number of justice centres currently in operation.
Meanwhile, he informed that the Ministry has secured and paid $184 million for land for the establishment of the Manchester Regional Judicial Complex.
Two other regional offices are to be established in St. Ann and St. James.
In addition, he informed that the Ministry is spending $626.4 million for major renovation of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at Public Building West.
The project includes major demolition work, spatial reconfiguration, extensive masonry and tiling, and the upgrade of sanitary facilities.