Come Wednesday, July 8, the Ministry of Justice will host its second ‘Access Justice Live’ virtual Town Hall.
The Town Hall, which begins at 10:00 a.m., facilitates discussions on various topics and issues, particularly those dealing with children.
Communications Consultant in the Ministry of Justice, Lavern Reid, told JIS News that children are a priority group for the Ministry.
“The aim is to have discussions about children and that’s because children are one of our priority areas at the Ministry of Justice. As you know, they are one of society’s most vulnerable and so we are looking for ways in which the justice system and the services that we offer can address their specific needs… That’s our focus for the second virtual Town Hall,” Mrs. Reid said.
She also noted that persons tuning in will learn more about the facilities of the Child Diversion Act, its provisions and how the legislation works to divert children who come in conflict with the law away from the criminal Justice System.
“They will be able to take away … the measures that will be put in place to deal with the particular issues that they have, so that they are kept away from the formal justice system, because that can be a very daunting process for our children, who are very vulnerable,” Mrs. Reid explained.
The Town Hall will take the format of a panel discussion with several stakeholders from across the Justice sector.
“For instance we will have the Victim Services Division, the Legal Aid Council and when it comes to the Child Diversion measures, we will have Ms. Ruth Carey who is our Consultant for that programme. So [persons tuning in] will be able to take away what additional support they can get from agencies and units in the Justice Ministry,” Mrs. Reid said.
Other panelists include Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck; Executive Director, Legal Aid Council, Hugh Faulkner; Sergeant Winston Dawkins from the Legal Affairs Division, Jamaica Constabulary Force; and Director of the Victim Services Division, Osbourne Bailey.
Mrs. Reid emphasised the need for persons to tune in, noting that persons may be able to educate themselves on the resources available and direct others in need to the services of the Ministry.
“Children, being one of our most vulnerable groups, deserve every care and every attention and all the measures we can put in place to make them as comfortable and as protected as possible. And it might not be directly, but there may be someone in your community, in your church, who has these particular issues, so when you tune in you can learn how you can help to facilitate what the needs of these children are,” she said.
Persons can join the discussion on the Ministry of Justice Facebook Page @mojofficialjm as well as on the JIS Facebook page @jisvoice.
The event will also be live on JIS Instagram @jisvoice and will be streamed on the JIS website, jis.gov.jm.