JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is calling on all Jamaicans to play a part in the process of restorative justice, by learning more about the practice and sharing that knowledge with others.
  • The Government, through the Restorative Justice Programme, is working to entrench restorative justice as a tool for conflict resolution in Jamaica.
  • Restorative Justice Week is being observed from January 30 to February 5 under the theme: ‘Restorative Justice and our Social Responsibility’.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is calling on all Jamaicans to play a part in the process of restorative justice, by learning more about the practice and sharing that knowledge with others.

Addressing a service to launch Restorative Justice Week at the Portmore Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Saturday (Jan. 30), the Prime Minister said research has shown that the practice has the capacity to substantially limit repeat offences and reduce the desire among victims for violence and revenge against offenders.

She said restorative justice also provides both victims and offenders with a satisfactory resolution in a conflict.

Restorative Justice is a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively, how to deal with the aftermath of the offence. It focuses on holding the offender accountable, while also helping to repair the harm caused by the offence, and seeking to reintegrate the offender into the community.

The Government, through the Restorative Justice Programme, is working to entrench restorative justice as a tool for conflict resolution in Jamaica.

To date, nine Restorative Justice centres have been established in the island and several facilitators have been trained.

The Prime Minister is encouraging the church, non-governmental organisations,  community groups and other stakeholders to support the practice.

Justice III
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, addresses the Restorative Justice Week church service held at the Portmore Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Saturday (January 30).

“It is our hope that restorative justice will lead to a forgiving, caring Jamaica. When that is achieved, I believe there will be greater levels of peace and security in our communities and certainly our nation,” she said.

Custos of St. Catherine, Rev. Jeffery McKenzie, who represented the Governor General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, said the introduction of restorative justice in Jamaica represents a paradigm shift from justice being a system of social control to one of social engagement.

“Certainly, the National Restorative Justice Policy is that pathway of transformation to a more secure, just and cohesive Jamaican society,” he said, while urging that the Government of Jamaica be congratulated and encouraged in this process.

Restorative Justice Week is being observed from January 30 to February 5 under the theme: ‘Restorative Justice and our Social Responsibility’.

Activities include school engagement and outreach sessions on February 1; a Community Open Day and outside broadcast at the Tower Hill Restorative Justice Centre in Olympic Gardens on February 3; and the staging of the 7th International Restorative Justice Conference on Friday, February 5 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.