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KINGSTON — The process of transforming young minds and instilling in them, positive values and attitudes, which would steer them from a life of crime, should start in the home, says Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Reginald Budhan.

He said that a lot of the interpersonal conflicts, which lead to crime and violence, can be resolved through rationale thinking and communication in the home.

“We have far too many interpersonal conflicts in Jamaica and I attribute that to the poor level of socialisation from homes and sometimes in the school system. I think if we were trained at home properly, a lot of the interpersonal conflicts that we experience, which sometimes translate themselves into crime and violence can be avoided,” he said.

He was speaking on April 29 at the 5th Caribbean Conference on Dispute Resolution at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston. The two-day event, organised by the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF) was held under the theme: ‘Encouraging a Culture of Justice and Peace through Conflict Resolution: Strengthening Your Role’.

The Permanent Secretary said that while the state tries to put in place the kind of administrative infrastructure to solve disputes of various forms, “the society, home (and) school system and so on, also have a role to play to make sure that from children are young, we train them and order their minds to be reasonable, fair and just. If we do that, a lot of the conflicts, which we experience could be minimised”.

To this end, he said that attention should be placed in the home so that children will be taught to be more law-abiding, peaceful and less prone to conflicts.

He said that some of the resources that have been allotted to deal with law and order could be used in areas such as education and health.

Mr. Budhan commended the DRF on the work it has been doing in strengthening the justice system, through advocacy, while promoting knowledge and understanding of alternative methods of dispute resolution.                                        

The conference, held in collaboration with the Mona School of Business and the Caribbean branch of the Champions of Dispute Resolution, brought together international experts on mediation, arbitration, and restorative and community justice from Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia and jurisdictions in South and North America.    

 

By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter