JIS News

The Ministry of Justice, through its Restorative and Community Justice (RCJ) Unit, has trained 98 additional persons as Restorative and Community Justice Facilitators, as part of the initiative to improve the justice system.
The training workshop was held from August 23 to 26, at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel and Spa in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
Justice Reform Co-ordinator, Beverly Little, told JIS News that the participants were certified in several courses, including,’Introduction to Restorative Practices’; ‘Facilitating Restorative Conferences’; and ‘Using Circles Effectively’.
According to the Co-ordinator, the RCJ Unit will commence expansion of the programme over the coming months.
“The RCJ Unit will be expanding to feature four Field Officers located in each pilot community, a Training Co-ordinator and an Administrative Assistant to ensure that community members are trained in, and introduced to, RCJ practices,” she added.
Miss Little also noted that the RCJ Unit would be undertaking a sensitisation project to introduce the public to RCJ and its practices, through radio and television.
The participants were drawn from all parishes and several organisations, including the Ministry of Education, the Victim Support Unit, Churches, Peace and Justice Commission, Dispute Resolution Foundation, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), Sistren, Social Development Commission (SDC), the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the RCJ pilot communities of May Pen, Clarendon; Tower Hill, St. Andrew; Granville, St. James; and Spanish Town, St. Catherine. Representatives from Corporate Area communities Tivoli Gardens, Grants Pen, and Manley Meadows were also present.
To date, some 155 facilitators have been trained to introduce RCJ to their communities and organisations, and to spread the message that RCJ provides a personal, credible and durable method of dealing with community justice issues.
The Restorative Justice Project was initiated with a formal request from the Ministry of Justice to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), through the Canadian-Caribbean Fund (CCF).

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