Justice Transformation hits Western Jamaica with hope for Stability

Justice Minister, Hon. Delroy Chuck

With the escalating crime rate including lottery scamming pushing at its peak in Western Jamaica, the Ministry of Justice is determined to tackle this and other issues during its island-wide Sensitization Sessions on its Justice Services. The second in-a-series was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on September 8, 2016.

The key speakers at the event were, the Hon. Delroy Chuck, Minister of Justice and Mrs. Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry who addressed approximately one hundred attendees, including Justices of the Peace, pastors, teachers and community leaders. They were further empowered through presentations such as Restorative Justice, Mediation, Victim Services, Human Trafficking, Drug Abuse, Legal Aid, Child Abuse and Child Diversion.

A section of the audience listens as Minister of Justice, the Hon. Delroy Chuck gives his main address at the second island-wide Justice Sensitization Session held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on September 8, 2016. Approximately 100 persons were in attendance.

In speaking to the deteriorating crime rate, Minister Chuck said, “The incontrovertible fact is that the security landscape has shifted remarkably and significantly in the last decade or so in Jamaica. A decade ago the concept of transnational crime involved guns and drugs. Nowadays it is cybercrimes, credit card fraud and here in Montego Bay in the Western area lottery scamming, have redefined the landscape characteristics of crime as we knew them.   The boundaries between national security and global security have to be re-drawn.”

The Minister further argued that the consequences of this emerging and ever changing environment have implications for our security and justice systems. “For example, if the actions of our citizens are impinging upon the rights of citizens in other jurisdictions, we must be prepared for the scrutiny which we have invited upon ourselves especially in the areas of security and justice.”

However, Minister Chuck is saying that change can happen whether through legislation or active community involvement, “We have always fought for what is right across the world. We were at the forefront of the fight for Human Rights for South Africa people and other people across the world. I must now say here in Montego Bay and in Jamaica that we have to do something to get rid of this lotto scamming. Get rid of this fraud! For it is important for us to acknowledge that it is hurting every single one of us in more ways than you can ever think or even imagine.”

Minister Chuck told the gathering that while scamming appears to have a glorious life and provides income to many communities, it is a heinous crime that will not be tolerated, “Intolerance must be one of the means by which you tell wrong doers we don’t appreciate what they are doing and be bold enough to stand up for what is right because, I say (we) the decent law abiding citizens must be brave and bold enough to stand up for what is right. If we don’t stand up for what is right then wrong doers will get away.”

Mrs. Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary

Mrs. Carol Palmer reiterated the exact sentiments, “We cannot sit and hide ourselves while the entire State (Jamaica) falls into the hands of 20,000 criminals that the Ministry of National Security advises. We have to start with our youth so that they can become adults fully equipped to be civilized, socially accepted citizens in our land…I want you all to embrace the fact that we are all responsible for what our society is and to become in the not too distant future.”

The Justice Ministry has embarked on a mission to expose local leaders to several key areas of the justice system from which the citizens of Jamaica can benefit. This is in keeping with the goal of transforming the justice system to make it more efficient and effective.  The next Sensitization Session will be held on September 16 and 22 for St. Ann and St. James respectively.

 

Ms. Debbian Daley, Manager of Victim Services Division, answers questions from the audience of approximately 100 attendees at the Ministry of Justice second in-a-series of Sensitization Session held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on September 8, 2016. Mrs. Stacian Winter-Thomas, Centre Manager, Montego Bay RJ Centre and Mr. Joshua, Mediator, Dispute Resolution Foundation also spoke at the event.

 

 

Story and Photos by Dyhann Buddoo-Fletcher

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