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Story Highlights

  • Sixty Jamaicans have been equipped to implement and monitor the principles and practices of restorative justice (RJ) in their communities.
  • The four-month training course sought to build the capacity of the facilitators to competently, confidently and safely conduct RJ processes.
  • Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding encouraged persons, who are not yet a part of the programme, “to give serious consideration to offering yourselves as RJ facilitators.”

Sixty Jamaicans have been equipped to implement and monitor the principles and practices of restorative justice (RJ) in their communities, having graduated from a training programme developed and executed by the RJ Unit in the Ministry of Justice.

The four-month training course consisting 11 modules was undertaken from June to September, 2013, and sought to build the capacity of the facilitators to competently, confidently and safely conduct RJ processes in keeping with the National Restorative Justice Policy.

Minister of Justice, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, in his address at the graduation ceremony held on February 19 at the Altamont Court Hotel, St. Andrew, congratulated the community facilitators.

He said that they have made a bold step by volunteering to assist with the implementation of RJ in Jamaica.

“The RJ facilitators have given their time and energy to this important programme. The expertise they will develop as RJ practitioners will contribute to the healing of fractured relationships in their communities. This will effectively and collectively reduce the levels of crime and violence that now afflict our nation,” Senator Golding said.

He encouraged persons, who are not yet a part of the programme, “to give serious consideration to offering yourselves as RJ facilitators.”

“It takes a committed and vested citizenry as well as civil society, non-Government Organisations, the church and others, to find their respective role in the process of reconciliation and peace,” Senator Golding said.

The Ministry of Justice is observing Restorative Justice Week from February 9 to 28 under the theme: ‘Restorative Justice as a catalyst for unity, healing and transformation’.

During the period of observation, the Ministry will seek to raise awareness and build support for the RJ Programme as well as invite national participation and collaboration with the Government in implementing this model of justice.

RJ week was officially launched with a church service on Sunday, February 9 at the Emmanuel Apostolic in Kingston.

Other activities for the week include an International Conference on February 21, which will feature Restorative Justice Experts from the United States, Canada and Brazil.