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Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Justice, yesterday (September 1), hosted the first in a series of sensitisation sessions to equip community leaders with skills to help citizens access justice services, resolve conflicts and prevent crime.
  • Some 120 community leaders, including custodes, justices of the peace, school administrators, teachers, business owners and members of the clergy, attended the inaugural session.
  • Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, urged participants to pass on the messages and skills acquired and encourage others to participate in the sessions offered by the Ministry.

The Ministry of Justice, yesterday (September 1), hosted the first in a series of sensitisation sessions to equip community leaders with skills to help citizens access justice services, resolve conflicts and prevent crime.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, addressing the group at an opening ceremony at the Ministry’s offices on Constant Spring Road, said the project marks a major step towards returning discipline and respect for the rule of law in Jamaica.

Some 120 community leaders, including custodes, justices of the peace, school administrators, teachers, business owners and members of the clergy, attended the inaugural session.

The project, which is being carried out through the Justice Undertakings for Social Transformation (JUST) programme, is expected to provide special training for 1,000 persons each month, in  areas such as restorative justice, child diversion, victim support and legal aid, as well as highlight social ills such as human trafficking, child abuse and domestic violence.

Mr. Chuck said the Ministry is aiming for peace, civility, good order and improved behaviour in communities, as stability is necessary in achieving sustainable development and fulfilling the Government’s goal of economic growth and job creation.

“(We are) looking to motivate, inform, empower and strengthen leaders in every nook and cranny of Jamaica, so we can restore Jamaica to pride of place where we can feel that we live in a society and are not looking to migrate,” he added.

Mr. Chuck said the training will be taken to communities across the island over the upcoming months, with a session in Hanover next week. He further noted that the Ministry is looking to host ongoing sessions with community stakeholders at its head office.

He urged participants to pass on the messages and skills acquired and encourage others to participate in the sessions offered by the Ministry.

“We are sending a signal to the Jamaican people and in particular to all law-abiding and decent citizens of this country to join us in the work that we are doing to safeguard the future of our country as we move towards a just, safe and secure Jamaica,” he said.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Carol Palmer, said the session forms part of the Justice Ministry’s drive to do its part to achieve Jamaica’s development goals contained in Vision 2030.

She said the Ministry continues to reshape the narrative of justice in the country through a programme of infrastructure, with the construction and rehabilitation of several court houses and facilities; the modernisation of systems and processes; the introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT); and the modernisation of legislation to improve the efficiency of courts.

“We are helping Jamaicans to realise that they have a voice in the justice system and equally important, they have a responsibility to be active participants in the process of transformation,” Mrs. Palmer said.

The JUST programme is supported by the Canadian government. Other international partners of programmes at the Ministry include the United States Embassy, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).