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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Grants Pen, St. Andrew, are the latest beneficiaries of the Legal Aid Council’s Mobile Justice Unit.
  • The services are part of phase three of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP II), targeting 50 communities.
  • It is administered by the Ministry of National Security and jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica; Inter-American Development Bank; United Kingdom Department for InternationalDevelopment; and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Residents of Grants Pen, St. Andrew, are the latest beneficiaries of the Legal Aid Council’s Mobile Justice Unit.

The Unit was at the Grants Pen Peace Park on Wednesday (February 28) dispensing free legal information on the expungement of criminal records, wills, land titles, criminal matters, and child custody and maintenance, among other issues.

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

The CSJP is a multifaceted and multi-stakeholder crime- and violence-prevention initiative, focused on building community safety and security.

It is administered by the Ministry of National Security and jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica; Inter-American Development Bank; United Kingdom Department for InternationalDevelopment; and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

Attorney-at-law, Shara-Kay Dacres, who is a legal consultant with the Unit, told JIS News that residents were grateful for the services provided, noting that most of them sought advice on land-related matters.

“The persons we have seen are very interested in the services. Most of them were not aware that the services of the bus even existed. So they are very interested to know when we will be back in the community, because they have other friends and persons who they know would benefit from the services as well. They are grateful for the advice because a lot of them have issues that they didn’t know how to (address),” she explained.

Against this background, Ms. Dacres said the Council is looking to revisit the community and bring back the Unit later in the year.

Grants Pen resident, Orette Perkins, who enquired about land-related matters, said the information he received was very detailed.

“I am doing something over my yard that’s pertaining to land – paying tax and such – and so I came and got some vital information,” he told JIS News.

Another resident, Rochelle Gilzene, said she was very appreciative of the legal advice she received.

“I came to check and confirm some information on a legal matter, and I found the information very helpful and informative. The representative was very friendly and courteous and she advised me accordingly… so I am satisfied,” she said.

Ms. Gilzene said initiatives such as these are critical to the community.

“We have a lot of persons who need this kind of help… to help to sort out certain personal and legal matters, which would be beneficial to persons individually and the community on a whole,” she said.

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.

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