October 25, 2022
Kingston, Jamaica. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) through its National Child Diversion (CD) Programme has embarked on a series of youth empowerment sessions.
MOJ’s Child Diversion Programme focused on Youth Empowerment
Kingston, Jamaica. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) through its National Child Diversion (CD) Programme has embarked on a series of youth empowerment sessions. The sessions are aimed at promoting personal empowerment by providing positive alternatives for participants to strengthen their decision-making capacities.
The third in the series of empowerment sessions was held on Friday, October 14 by the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) CD office with fifty-four attendees; young men and women between the ages of 13 and 17 years.
Participants were exposed to presentations from several organizations such as Safe Spot Jamaica, through the Office of the Children’s Advocate, the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA), HEART NSTA and the Jamaica National Bank-Youth Banking. The highlights of the event were the gender breakout sessions, which were led by Mr Christobal Wright from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Mrs Simone Sharrier from the Victim Service Division (VSD), a division in the Ministry.
Co-organiser for the empowerment session, Kingston CD Officer, Ms Janet Howe, explained the rationale for hosting the event. “We wanted to expose our young people to other opportunities. In my day we didn’t know anything about financial literacy. If we empower our young people with information they will be able to make wiser decisions and see more of the world in comparison to what they live every day,” she said.
Coordinator for the Child Diversion Programme, Mrs Venisa Clarke –Lee expressed satisfaction with the execution of the event. “I am so pleased that we were able to host this empowerment session today. Our young people need to be equipped with the tools for achieving success in their lives and this is what the session aimed to do. They were engaged, they were thoroughly informed and we hope they will make good decisions for a better life,” said Mrs Clarke-Lee.
The Clarendon and St Elizabeth child diversion offices have also completed youth empowerment sessions with additional sessions to be hosted across the island.
The National Child Diversion Programme redirects children from the criminal justice system through empowerment and rehabilitation in an effort to reduce their exposure to the justice system. Since its implementation in 2020, the Programme has received 829 referrals to the Programme from the courts and the police department. There are currently 14 Child Diversion offices across the island. For more information on the Child Diversion Programme visit moj.gov.jm or call toll-free 888- JUSTICE (587-8423).
Caption: Following the completion of the youth empowerment session executed by the Kingston Child Diversion Office, coordinator of the Child Diversion Programme, Mrs Venisa Clarke-Lee (right) along with St. Andrew Child Diversion Officer, Levi Rodney (left) took a picture with presenter Mrs. Anna Maria Dawkins- Johnson (centre) from Safe Spot Jamaica which is operated by the Office of the Children’s Advocate.