Cabinet approves oversight committee for Child Diversion Programme

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Cabinet approves oversight committee for Child Diversion Programme

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Justice Minister Delroy Chuck says Cabinet has approved the establishment of a national oversight committee for the ministry's Child Diversion Programme.

Child diversion relates to the implementation of alternative interventions to formal court proceedings, to assist children deemed to have broken laws.

Chuck advised that the committee, for which approval was granted following a Cabinet submission on Monday, will be chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Justice Ministry Sancia Bennett Templer.

Additionally, Chuck said approval was given for the establishment of 13 parish committees to oversee the programme's operations at the local level, one of which will serve Kingston and St Andrew.

The minister said consequent on these, the Child Diversion Act, which was legislated in 2018, “is now fully in operation”.

He was speaking during the Ministry's 'Access Justice Live' digital town hall meeting today, which focused on children and the justice system.

Chuck said the Act's provisions, and by extension the overall programme, are intended to ensure that young offenders, aged 12 to 17, are not “unnecessarily penalised” in the formal justice system, “but that they are mentored and every opportunity is given [to them] to ensure that they go on the straight and narrow path”.


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