At the peak of the sensitization sessions hosted by the Ministry of Justice for the month of September, Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer announced that the target of training and sensitizing 1000 community leaders had been surpassed.
The Ministry conducted eight sensitization sessions across Jamaica. Westmoreland, St. James, St. Ann, Kingston and St. Andrew (which also hosted Clarendon, St. Catherine and St. Thomas) were the parishes impacted. The aim was to equip community leaders with the necessary information and skills to better assist residents in their communities to access justice services.
Hundreds of Jamaican leaders from all spheres of the society responded to the crusade launched by the Ministry of Justice to familiarize persons of influence with the services offered by the Justice Ministry and how they can be positive agents to assist residents to access justice.
Principals, teachers, students, pastors, Justices of the Peace, community lay workers, business leaders and other persons of unquestioned character attended the various sessions on Restorative Justice, Child Diversion, Legal Aid, Trafficking in Persons, Victim Services and other mainstream justice services hosted across the island.
Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck and Permanent Secretary Carol Palmer were the main speakers. A call was made by the Justice Minister for well-thinking Jamaicans to drive change in our society amidst crime and social unrest. He urged the leaders to be at the forefront of the restoration of law and order, decency, civility and peace.
The objective of sensitizing community leaders was to have more residents use the formal justice system to resolve conflicts and use Restorative Practices to arrest situations before they escalate.
By Marie T. Henry