Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Trelawny, Westmoreland justice centres not yet open after four months

Published:Thursday | September 6, 2018 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck

WESTERN BUREAU:

two justice centres opened in Trelawny and Westmoreland just under four months ago by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck are still not functional due to the absence of electricity, water, and furniture, among other issues.

In April this year, the Ministry of Justice, as part of its plan to have justice centres in all 14 parishes, opened the Trelawny centre at Rock, just outside Falmouth. The Westmoreland Justice Centre is located upstairs the Savanna-La-Mar Post Office.

"The building has not been used in the manner it was supposed to be because there are still some challenges that have not yet been overcome, like there is no water in there," said the Reverend Hartley Perrin, custos of Westmoreland. "Telephone systems have not yet been finalised in there and other little things that are needed to get things going. They are coming in, but slowly."

He added: "I was hoping to raise the matter with Justice Minister Chuck at his regular meeting with us, but I will not personally be able to attend, so I will send a representative. We would want to see it (Westmoreland Justice Centre) open as soon as possible, but, unfortunately, there are a few little hiccups that have not yet been ironed out."

 

LOCATION NOT IDEAL

 

Perrin said that the parish's restorative justice centre, which is expected to operate out of the justice centre, is still located at Dunbar's River, which is not considered ideal.

With regard to Trelawny, businessman Kenneth Grant, acting custos of the parish, said that like in Westmoreland, Trelawny's new justice centre was not up and running for similar reasons.

"I would have to talk to my custos (who is on vacation) to get more details, but I think that not being fully furnished is one of the problems and maybe some other little minor things," said Grant. "The building is very critical to the people of Trelawny, especially in regard to the need of counselling and other matters as it relates to settling domestic disputes, access to the custos, and other critical services."

The centres were established primarily to train justices of the peace in alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice and to provide citizens with other justice-related services.