The Restorative Justice unit in the Justice Ministry has been lauded for its work by Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) III Communications/Social Marketing Specialist, Patrice Tomlinson-Nephew.
“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 vigilante action or reprisals,” Mrs. Tomlinson-Nephew told JIS News.
Restorative Justice is a process where all the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence.
The tools used in Restorative Justice are conferences and circles. A victim may meet with the offender face to face in a Victim/Offender Conference or with the Offender and persons from the community in a Family Group/Community Conference.
According to Mrs. Tomlinson-Nephew, Restorative Justice Week, which is scheduled for February 3-8, is important as it highlights the value of the process 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 a more amicable society,” she explained.
Mrs. Tomlinson-Nephew told JIS News that Restorative Justice 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 noted.
Restorative Week begins with a church service on Sunday, February 3 at the Faith Temple Assembly of God in Montego Bay and ends with the 10th Restorative Justice Conference on Friday, February 8, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston.