Restorative justice is deemed pivotal to maintaining peace in volatile communities benefitting from phase three implementation of the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP III).
The process entails parties impacted by a particular offence, coming together in the incident’s aftermath to collectively resolve the underlying issues.
“Restorative justice is an important process that fills the void that exists in CSJP’s targeted communities where persons perceive justice as unattainable, which leads to them taking justice into their own hands through reprisals and vigilante activities,” CSJP III Communications/Social Marketing Specialist, Patrice Tomlinson-Nephew, explained.
She told JIS News that the process continues to be a critical aspect of their peace-building initiative.
“The Restorative Justice process facilitates victims and offenders working together and it equips these persons with the tools to resolve their issues in a more peaceful manner, thereby impacting the community in a positive way,” she pointed out, adding that conferences and circles are key tools in the process.
These enable victims to meet with offenders face to face in a Victim/Offender Conference or with the offender and persons from the wider community in a Family Group/Community Conference.
These interventions will be among the key areas of focus during Restorative Justice Week, being observed in St. James and Kingston from February 3 to 7.
Mrs Tomlinson-Nephew contended that the week is important in highlighting the value of the process that is ongoing in volatile communities.
“The week of activities presents the opportunity to educate the public on the extensive work done, so persons will understand the restorative process through these activities and, hopefully, move to [create] a more amicable society,” she added.
Restorative Justice Week gets underway with a church service at Faith Temple Assembly of God in Montego Bay on Sunday, February 3, and ends with the Restorative Justice Conference at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on Friday, February 9.