Restora­tive jus­tice cen­tres for West Kingston

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

TWO RESTORA­TIVE jus­tice cen­tres are to be es­tab­lished in West Kingston be­fore year end to pro­vide coun­selling to the more than 2,500 chil­dren who were af­fected by the events of May 2010. Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck, who made the an­nounce­ment yes­ter­day, said the Gov­ern­ment would set up the cen­tres in Tivoli Gar­dens and Den­ham Town. In a state­ment to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Chuck said that teach­ers and stu­dents from schools in west Kingston par­tic­i­pated in train­ing ses­sions on restora­tive jus­tice at the Min­istry of Jus­tice in Septem­ber.

He said the min­istry placed em­pha­sis on west Kingston be­cause of a crit­i­cal rec­om­men­da­tion made by the West Kingston Com­mis­sion of En­quiry into the May 2010 op­er­a­tions by the se­cu­rity forces to serve an ex­tra­di­tion war­rant on for­mer Tivoli don Christo­pher ‘Dudus’ Coke. The three-panel com­mis­sion­ers rec­om­mended that there should be con­tin­u­ous coun­selling for the more than 2,500 chil­dren who were af­fected by the vi­o­lence, which left 73 civil­ians and a sol­dier dead.

Chuck noted that some coun­selling took place shortly af­ter the in­cur­sion but said the two cen­tres would be es­tab­lished to en­sure max­i­mum ef­fect and re­cov­ery.


At the same time, the jus­tice min­is­ter also an­nounced that stu­dents would be trained in the prin­ci­ples of restora­tive jus­tice. He said the train­ing ex­er­cise would be rolled out in schools next year.

Ac­cord­ing to Chuck, stu­dents will be ex­posed to restora­tive prac­tices to deal with anger man­age­ment, re­spect for each other, and how to in­ter­act and re­solve con­flicts with­out re­sort­ing to vi­o­lence.

He ar­gued that restora­tive jus­tice has made a “re­mark­able dif­fer­ence in so­ci­eties such as South Africa with the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion, in Rwanda, and in Colom­bia to re­store so­ci­eties af­ter pe­ri­ods of vi­o­lence, and we ex­pect that it will make a dif­fer­ence in Ja­maica”.

Chuck said that me­di­a­tion and restora­tive jus­tice are al­ter­na­tive forms of dis­pute res­o­lu­tion, not­ing that these ap­proaches re­duced the num­ber of cases that come be­fore the courts.


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