1,124 Persons Receive Free Legal Advice from Mobile Justice Unit

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck.

Story Highlights

  • During the last fiscal year, 1,124 Jamaicans received free legal information from the Mobile Justice Unit, says Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck.
  • The services are part of phase three of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP III), targeting 50 communities.
  • “Our Mobile Justice Unit is taking justice into hard-to-reach communities providing legal advice and assistance to the poor, powerless and marginalized,” the Minister said, during his recent contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

During the last fiscal year, 1,124 Jamaicans received free legal information from the Mobile Justice Unit, says Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck.

The Unit dispenses free legal information on the expungement of criminal records, wills, land titles, criminal matters, and child custody and maintenance.

The services are part of phase three of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP III), targeting 50 communities.

“Our Mobile Justice Unit is taking justice into hard-to-reach communities providing legal advice and assistance to the poor, powerless and marginalized,” the Minister said, during his recent contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives.

He added that the Ministry currently has one unit and is looking to acquire two additional ones in a bid to provide legal advice and representation to more people in the communities.

“We have put in a request for these two additional mobile units and we are going to get them, thanks to the Canadian Government. They will come on stream during the course of this fiscal year,” he said, adding that persons can make a request for the unit to visit their communities.

The provision of services through the Mobile Justice Unit is in keeping with the Justice Ministry’s thrust to improve access to justice for everyone, particularly persons in rural and inner-city communities.

It is also consistent with the Government’s 2017/18 policy priority regarding the rule of law and timely justice outcomes.

The Minister said Legal Aid Services in the Parish Courts increased by 58.9 per cent, with 1,389 legal aid cases last year.

“There is a special programme focused on providing legal representation to remandees or incarcerated offenders who are living with a mental illness,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister said 1,027 marriage licences were issued during the last fiscal year. “These are mainly licences issued to visitors for destination weddings in Jamaica,” he said.

Mr. Chuck also noted that 1,027 criminal records were expunged.

The Minister said the Victim Services Division continued to provide emergency assistance, trauma and grief therapy to persons who have been affected by crime and violence.

He said the Division provided trauma and grief therapy to 1,801 children; 36 teenage girls benefited from group therapy services on sexual abuse; 75 victims received emergency assistance and 183 persons benefited from school-based intervention workshops.

The Minister pointed out that thousands of justices of the peace (JPs) were trained during the last fiscal year, and that 653 benefited from specialised training in areas of Lay Magistrates Courts, National Identification System and Zones of Special Operations.

“In addition, we have facilitated the commissioning of 830 JPs during the last fiscal year to bring the number of JPs in the island close to 8,000,” he said.

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