JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The first of four islandwide consultations is to be held at the St. Andrew High School for Girls, in Kingston, on Monday, August 19.
  • The exercise aims to educate and sensitize the Jamaican public and gain feedback on the policy
  • The policy seeks to establish a formal framework for dealing with children in conflict with the law

The first of four islandwide consultations on the Draft National Child Diversion Policy is to be held at the St. Andrew High School for Girls, in Kingston, on Monday, August 19.

Being conducted by the Ministry of Justice, the exercise aims to educate and sensitize the Jamaican public and gain feedback on the policy, which seeks to establish a formal framework for dealing with children in conflict with the law throughout the criminal justice process, with a view to ensuring that detention or institutionalisation is a measure of last resort.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Carol Palmer, is inviting members of the public, especially those who work directly with children or those interested in their welfare to attend these sessions, which will run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day.

“Anyone who feels they have an interest in justice as meted out to children, can come to those sessions and give us their input which will be considered,” Mrs. Palmer said, while addressing the opening of a consultation for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on the draft policy framework, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, today (August 15).

She noted that while the process to develop this policy on child diversion has been “in gestation for a long time…we are at the point now where we need the insight, the input, and the significant collaboration of stakeholders.”

The Kingston session will cater to the parishes of St. Catherine, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Thomas. The next session will be held on Tuesday, August 20, at the St. Mary High School and will cater to residents of St. Mary, Portland and St. Ann.

The West Jamaica Conference Centre in Mount Salem, Montego Bay, will be the venue for the next consultation on Wednesday (August 21). This will cater to the parishes of Trelawny, St. James and Hanover. The final session, scheduled for Thursday(August 22) will be hosted at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School, 90 Main Street, Santa Cruz and will accommodate residents of Westmoreland, St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon.