The Ministry of Justice is looking to reach more Jamaicans through its Restorative Justice, Child Diversion and Victims Support programmmes during the new fiscal year.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2022/2023 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 4).
He said that the Restorative Justice Unit plans to host 1,260 sensitisation sessions and facilitate 2,400 case conferences.
“We will be aiming for an increase in both the number of sensitisation sessions conducted as well as the number of citizens who are educated on restorative justice,” he said.
Minister Chuck said that the programme is steadily gaining momentum.
The initiative, which aims to bring persons together to resolve conflicts at the community level, aims to promote a culture of peace and reduce criminal case backlog by diverting cases from the formal justice system.
As it relates to victim services, Minister Chuck said: “We intend to provide counselling and emotional support services to at least 5,036 new clients, follow up with 5,000 existing clients, as well as conduct over 10,000 counselling sessions.
“We also intend to implement an electronic data management system to strengthen the administration of the programme,” Mr. Chuck told the House.
The Victim Support Unit assists persons against whom certain offences have been committed.
Meanwhile, under the Child Diversion programme, the Ministry is looking to train additional mentors, as well as increase family counselling sessions and psycho-educational assessments for children.
In addition, arrangements will be explored with entities across the island to engage children in community service and skills training.
Other imperatives include reviewing the Child Diversion Act, preparing for a follow-up study on children from the programme, and the staging of 28 empowerment sessions for children.