Restorative justice programme yielding 80% success rate, says Chuck
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Restorative Justice (RJ) Programme has a success rate of approximately 80 per cent for matters referred by the courts, communities, schools, and police, says Justice Minister Delroy Chuck.
He made the disclosure in a statement to the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“Over 200 RJ facilitators are available to help the public and are situated right across the parishes. I cannot overemphasise the success of Restorative Justice as an important tool for conflict resolution and repairing relationships,” Chuck said.
He also informed that over the last four years, the RJ programme has facilitated 9,192 conferences, resulting in 7,580 agreements.
“Imagine the countless lives that have been saved by allowing people to peacefully resolve their conflicts,” the minister stated.
Additionally, some 74,949 Jamaicans have benefited from RJ sensitisation sessions.
“Our efforts have been cemented through training for both staff and facilitators; the widening of interventions; signing of Memorandums of Understanding with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education and Youth, and churches all across Jamaica; to the most recent operationalisation of the Social Justice Division, under which are housed the Restorative Justice Branch, the Child Diversion Branch and the Victim Services Branch,” Chuck stated.
All three branches have partnered to provide Jamaicans, including child offenders as young as 12 years, with timely access to alternative dispute resolution services as well as providing support to victims of crimes.
Currently, there are 21 Parish and Restorative Justice Centres islandwide that have been strategically spread across communities.
Standalone Restorative Justice Centres are in Tower Hill, Trench Town, August Town, Denham Town, Tivoli Gardens, Spanish Town, May Pen, Pembroke Hall, and Bunker’s Hill, which will be opened shortly.
Parish Justice Centres offering RJ services are in St Ann, St Mary, Portland, Trelawny, St James, Westmoreland, St Elizabeth, Manchester, St Thomas, and St Andrew.
For more information on RJ and other social justice services that can help resolve conflicts, the public can call 888-587-8423.