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Minister of Transport and Works, and Member of Parliament for Central Clarendon, Hon. Mike Henry, has assured that serious steps are being taken to remedy the cry of many Jamaicans, for a more equitable justice system.
“The Government is now bringing the sort of focus that is necessary to correct the situation. The Restorative and Community Justice programme is certainly a step in the right direction in looking to bring greater balance to the scales of justice,” he stated while addressing the launch of the May Pen Restorative and Community Justice Pilot Project held at the Grace Baptist Church, in the parish on June 17.
While welcoming the project to the parish, Mr. Henry said it was a refreshing development, which was aimed at bringing less formality and greater community participation in the justice system.
“There is too much mistrust among some community members, and the Restorative and Community Justice programme is intended to help repair the harm that has been done in the past, and improve the relations within these communities, thereby making them safer and better places to live and work. These are ideals which I have long sought to accomplish, they are being advanced now, with critical new connectivity to be established among the victims, offenders and the community as a whole,” the Minister added.
He noted that in his capacity as Member of Parliament, he has sought to have ongoing dialogue with institutional stakeholders in the creation and maintenance of effective community bonding, where people are united around common goals.
“The programme is aimed at getting to the heart of negative behaviour among the members of the community, with a whole new approach towards effecting behaviour changes. What we need is wide scale public participation in the initiative. We owe it to our neighbours, friends, families and ourselves,” he emphasised.