The Full Story
The Restorative Justice (RJ) programme is being hailed for mending the broken relationship between a father and his son.
A programme of the Ministry of Justice, it aims to create a culture of peace through effective processes that emphasise the values of mutual respect, dignity and concern between one another in an environment of healing, reconciliation, and restoration.
Bishop John Thorpe of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Jamaica Inc., who considers himself “a recipient of the blessings of restorative justice”, recalled that an “invisible hand” disturbed the relationship he had with his son, and he was overwhelmed with the situation.
“I felt like I needed help and I went to restorative justice and believe me, I have five children and today, he is the nearest one to me. Every day he calls me. As a matter of fact, the suit that I have on now, it came from him,” he said to loud applause.
Bishop Thorpe gave the testimonial during the 15th staging of the Restorative Justice Conference held on Wednesday (February 7) at The Summit in Kingston, under the theme ‘Transformation, Peace and Harmony through Restorative Justice’.
Having experienced the healing power of RJ, Bishop Thorpe shared that he wants to become more active in championing the alternative-dispute-resolution method.
“As a pastor, as a justice of peace, I think I should be more active in this thing. I think I’ll be able to help people out there and tell them the virtues of restorative justice,” Mr. Thorpe said.
He underscored that restorative justice offers a “soft hand” to conflict resolution, and parties often find forgiveness at the end of the road.
“I’m not discounting anything, but if you go to the court and you even win the case, you can still have animosity,” Bishop Thorpe pointed out.
The Ministry of Justice has 22 justice centres across the island and more than 400 restorative justice facilitators.
For details on how you can access restorative justice services or training in Restorative Justice Practices, contact the Ministry of Justice toll-free at 888-JUSTICE (888-587-8423), visit their website at www.moj.gov.jm or visit the nearest Restorative Justice Centre.