MINISTRY OF JUSTICE CHILD JUSTICE SERVICES
The Ministry of Justice has dedicated its financial, human and other resources to helping children faced with adversity.
These resources have been made available to Jamaican children through programmes and Agencies such as Child Diversion, Restorative Justice, the Administrator General Department and the Victim Services Division. There has also been special investment in child friendly infrastructures within the justice sector.
Here are some of the ways children have benefitted directly from these investments.
The National Child Diversion Programme - This programme aims to steer youth in conflict with the law (ages 12 -17) away from delinquent behaviour by providing positive alternatives which promote rehabilitation and reintegration into their communities.
The programme helps youth by assessing their situation and then using a combination of approved methods to get that child back on track. Treatment methods include:
• making oral or written apologies
• accepting the supervision or guidance of a mentor
• refraining from association with certain persons or places
• attending a vocational or educational institution
• attending counselling or therapy sessions with a specified person
• community service
• drug abuse counselling
Read more about Child Diversion here
The Victim Services Division - The Victim Services Division supports victims of crime by offering a full suite of services designed to care for the emotional needs of victims and encourage victim participation in the justice process. Through the VSD, children have been able to access:
• court preparation and accompaniment
• psychological screening
• crisis interventions
• therapeutic intervention through play therapy
• special intervention projects
By providing services tailored to the needs of children, there is greater hope that children can recover from any harm inflicted so that they in turn do not perpetuate a cycle of harm.
Read more about the Victim Services Division here
Restorative Justice – The Restorative Justice Programme is an alternative dispute resolution service which settles disputes using unbiased third party intervention. The programme has had a positive effect on the many Jamaicans who utilise the programme. This is beneficial to Jamaican children as RJ helps to improve family life for Jamaican children when conflicts are amicably involved.
The programme also has a special component which caters to schools. School administrators and students receive training so that they can impart the peaceful values of the programme to their peers.
Read more about Restorative Justice here
The Administrator-General’s Department - The Ministry ensures children who lose their parents are not cheated of their inheritance. Through the AGD, support is provided to ensure fair administration of estates involving minors.
Visit the Administrator-Generals’ Department website
for more information.