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The matter of restorative justice was extensively discussed at a public consultation held in Port Maria St. Mary, to solicit the views of Jamaicans about a suitable restorative justice policy for the country.
The consultation, held recently at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, was the ninth in a series of similar events being held islandwide.
Among the matters discussed were the meaning of justice; what should be done in the event of crimes such as murder, rape or burglary; who should be involved in the actions taken when a child is in serious problems at school; and generally, how citizens can become involved in restorative justice in the country.
The view expressed will be included in the final policy document to be presented to Cabinet for Parliamentary approval.
Presenting an overview of the policy, Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Policy Research, in the Ministry of Justice, Peter Parchment, said the Government is fully supportive and committed to the development of a restorative justice programme in the country, as it will create an opportunity to make the justice system more effective in addressing the root causes for crime and conflict.
He asserted that restorative justice repairs the harm caused by crime, adding that under that system, the community and other stakeholders close to either side of a dispute will be included in the process of arriving at a resolution to the conflict.
Mr. Parchment noted that it is going to require a partnership between Government, the Opposition, and civil society, to bring about the delivery of a restorative justice model for Jamaica.
He emphasised that such a model must be conceived, designed and developed based on the experiences of the people of the country.
The Senior Director noted that the series of consultations being held across the country has been meticulously planned, to ensure that the views of the Jamaican people are well articulated in the process of developing a restorative justice system for the country.