The Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck has announced that by the end of October the Granville Restorative Justice (RJ) Centre will be re-opened and fully operational.
Minister Chuck, Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer and a team from the Ministry of Justice met with several community leaders including Councillor Michael Troupe, Justices of the Peace, pastors and members of the Community Development Committee (CDC) Benevolent of Granville to discuss plans for the re-opening of the centre. Members of the meeting sat in a circle to mimic what happens at a Restorative Justice session giving each person a fair chance to express him/herself.
In addressing the meeting late September, Minister Chuck vowed that “this place [Granville] must become a model to other communities”.
Mrs. Carol Palmer stated that she has a special sentiment in her heart for Granville because, “it was the first community to reach out to the Ministry of Justice seeking Restorative Justice intervention”.
Justice of the Peace and President of the CDC, Ricardo Rhoden, underscored the need for the centre, “The community needs RJ services. Without Restorative Justice, the healing cannot start and without healing we cannot fix the problems affecting Jamaica”. The RJ centre is also needed because it provides a facility for JPs to make their services accessible to the residents.
The building which houses the RJ centre is outfitted with an internet cafe/home work centre and also facilitates the Granville Football Club.
The centre has been inoperable due to the disconnection of power supply and the need for re-certification of the building. Additionally, more furniture and re-painting work are needed.
The Minister, while lamenting the state of crime in Montego Bay, expressed urgency in administering Restorative Justice Practices to resolve conflicts in the parish. He instructed the meeting to do a full assessment of what is needed to have the centre functional and submit a report to the Ministry.
The Granville RJ Centre was opened on February 02, 2012. The re-opening of the Granville RJ Centre is part of the Ministry’s thrust to set up more Restorative Justice centres in various communities to provide healing and restoration for parties in conflicts (victims, offenders and affected communities).
By: Marie T. Henry