1,000 schools for jus­tice ses­sions

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

MORE THAN 1,000 schools will be tar­geted for restora­tive jus­tice and sen­si­ti­sa­tion ses­sions next year.

It’s a move that Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck feels could help to re­duce the level of ag­gres­sion and ten­sion in the so­ci­ety.

“Let me state very frankly that Ja­maica has many, many prob­lems and re­gret­tably, there are far too many per­sons in our so­ci­ety who want to in­crease the prob­lems. How­ever, if col­lec­tively we could pull to­gether, we can solve many of the prob­lems,” said Chuck. He re­it­er­ated that crime, in­dis­ci­pline and cor­rup­tion are ram­pant in the coun­try and of­fered that the Min­istry of Jus­tice, “and cer­tainly the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­maica and all right-think­ing peo­ple, would like to em­brace and en­cour­age more per­sons to be part of the so­lu­tion”.

He was ad­dress­ing 140 at­ten­dees, in­clu­sive of stu­dents and teach­ers, from nine Cor­po­rate Area schools, in­clud­ing Den­ham Town Pri­mary, St An­drew Tech­ni­cal High School, Kingston High School and Don­ald Quar­rie High School. The event was the sev­enth Jus­tice Sen­si­ti­sa­tion Ses­sion held re­cently at the Jus­tice Com­plex on Con­stant Spring Road. Carol Palmer, per­ma­nent sec­re­tary at the min­istry, had a mes­sage for the chil­dren.

“What I want you to do is to go back to your schools and to your com­mu­ni­ties and be a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence and agents of change,” she said. Palmer ex­plained that the min­istry’s plan, when they go into the schools, would be to work with the en­tire school com­mu­nity on restora­tive prac­tices so that a pos­i­tive cul­ture will be cre­ated in the school en­vi­ron­ment.

“So in­stead of mak­ing sure I pick up the knife, or my dag­ger – what­ever it is – to come to school, I am go­ing to come to school with an at­ti­tude that en­cour­ages pos­i­tive re­sponses when con­flicts arise, be­cause con­flicts will come,” she said.

De­scrib­ing the min­istry’s mis­sion as a ‘cru­sade’, Chuck con­tin­ued his ap­peal for good-stand­ing per­sons in the com­mu­ni­ties to be­come jus­tices of the peace (JPs), vol­un­teer­ing to be train­ers and fa­cil­i­ta­tors in restora­tive jus­tice. The Min­istry of Jus­tice con­tin­ues its ses­sions across Ja­maica to ed­u­cate com­mu­nity lead­ers, teach­ers, pas­tors, JPs and stake­hold­ers on its ser­vices. Pre­sen­ta­tions are made on is­sues in­clud­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing, vic­tim ser­vices, drug abuse and child di­ver­sion.

So in­stead of mak­ing sure I pick up the knife, or my dag­ger – what­ever it is – to come to school, I am go­ing to come to school with an at­ti­tude that en­cour­ages pos­i­tive re­sponses when con­flicts arise, be­cause con­flicts will come.

CHUCK

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