Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, said he is exploring the possibility of establishing a compensation fund to assist victims of crime and violence, where such intervention by the state may be required.
Speaking at the official opening of the May Pen Restorative Justice Centre in Clarendon on Tuesday (February 7), Senator Golding said currently, the criminal justice system does not provide what could be deemed, adequate compensation for victims, and expressed a desire to see this addressed through the establishment of the fund.
While acknowledging the existing economic and fiscal constraints, the Minister argued that putting such a facility in place would be pivotal to enhancing the criminal justice process.
“I think that would be very important to bring justice to the people of Jamaica. There are many things that we can do, even in that environment (of economic challenges) to improve ourselves and improve our society and this (compensation fund) is one such,” he contended.
In an interview with JIS News, Senator Golding explained that the concept of the fund, which exists in other countries, would see resources being identified and earmarked for a special pool of funds.
This, he said, would be used to assist victims of crime and violence, whether by compensation or any other form of intervention.
“Obviously, until the fund has grown to a large size, that level of support (initially) may not be very substantial, but hopefully, it would be meaningful, but the funding mechanism for it needs to be designed,” he stated.
“I have some ideas, but I have to work through the practicality of all that, before it becomes a policy, but it is something I think will come one day and I hope to bring it forward,” Senator Golding stated.
By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter