Justice Reform Consultation Held in Ocho Rios

The Ministry of Justice has embarked on a series of public consultations to engage communities and citizens for suggestions, that will allow members of the Task Force on Justice Reform to shape recommendations for the way forward.
The meetings, which began on March 15, will continue until April 13 throughout the island.
To this end, a consultation was recently held in St. Ann at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church Hall, where members of the public were engaged in discussion with key justice system stakeholders, sharing concerns and highlighting problems in regard to the justice system.
Several matters were raised by the audience, with much discussion focused on topics such as Plea Bargaining, Sentencing Practices, Probation, Codes of Conduct, Witness Assistance and Protection, Court Management and Administration.
Project Manager with the Task Force, Peter Parchment, told JIS News that the reform project began in earnest last year November.
“With the assistance of the Canadian Bar Association, we have done some research into the problems that affect the justice system and the possible solutions and now in the month of March, we are in the process of consultation with our communities at large,” he said.
He noted that discussions went well at the meeting in Ocho Rios, and he was expecting to gain even more from the other meetings that have been scheduled to take place at other venues in the parish.
“We anticipate that our follow-up consultations in Brown’s Town and St. Ann’s Bay will yield similar or even stronger results,” he said.
Mr. Parchment informed that the meeting in St. Ann’s Bay would be held on March 28 at the St. Ann’s Bay Baptist Church hall, and in Brown’s Town on April 11, at the Brown’s Town Baptist Church.
He is appealing to residents in the different areas to come out and share their views at the meetings.

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