JIS News

“Restorative and Community Justice: Making Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business,” is the theme for the celebration of Restorative and Community Justice Week, which starts Sunday, January 31 and ends Friday, February 6.
Coordinator of Justice Reform at the Ministry of Justice, Beverley Little, disclosed that, during the week, two pilot Restorative and Community Justice (RCJ) projects will be launched, and there will be a public discussion and a concert, among other things.
The celebrations will be launched on January 31, with a National Thanksgiving service at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church(Mandeville Parish Church), Market Street, Mandeville.
Minister of Justice, the Hon Dorothy Lightbourne, will be launching two of the pilot projects that week. The first one will be on Tuesday at 2:30 pm in Granville, St. James, at the Sam Sharpe Teachers College. The other is the Tower Hill project, which will be launched on Thursday, February 4 at 4:30 pm at the Seaward Primary School in Kingston.
“We have identified a number of schools and tertiary institutions in the pilot communities, that our practitioners will be visiting and educating the students and staff about RCJ. We also plan to have a public panel discussion at the offices of the MOJ, and we plan to close the week of observation with a concert at Emancipation Park,” Miss Little told a Think Tank session Wednesday (January 27) at the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) in Kingston.
“We have about 15 schools lined up, and we are asking persons who have been trained in RCJ [to make presentations]. We have prepared a script, more or less, so that there is uniformity in what they say, but that does not preclude people making the presentations contextual. It is just to ensure that the word get out”, she explained.
“We believe that it is important to begin in the schools, because one of the things we really want to change is people’s mindsets, in terms of how they respond, for example, to offensive language,” she added.
The panel discussion will take place at 12:30 pm at the Undercroft of the MOJ on Friday, February 5, and will look at restorative and community justice models.
RCJ week culminates with a free concert at the Emancipation Park in Kingston, 6 pm to 9 pm. The concert will feature a number of performers including the Northern Caribbean University Choir, Kimelia Issacs and the Sistren Theatre Company.