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Justice minister condemns killing of restorative justice facilitator

Published:Wednesday | November 18, 2015 | 11:00 AM

The Minister of Justice, Senator Mark Golding, has condemned the recent killing of restorative justice facilitator Ernest Dunbar. Dunbar, who was also a justice of the peace, joined the restorative justice team in 2012. Working out of the Spanish Town Restorative Justice Centre, he commuted from his home in Knollis, Bog Walk, to be part of restorative justice processes in various communities in Spanish Town, Portmore and August Town. He was found at home with his throat slashed.

Dunbar was awarded the Ministry's Trophy for Excellence in Restorative Justice Facilitation during Restorative Justice Week last year.

In 2013, he became the first facilitator to complete his practicum, which is the final phase of training towards certification as a restorative justice facilitator.

In his capacity as facilitator, Dunbar wanted to do more to help Jamaica's children realise their full potential, and, in December 2013, he completed training for certification in the area of child rights and responsibilities.

He worked tirelessly to share the values of peaceful problem-solving and never shied away from doing so, even at his own risk. It is unfortunate that someone who embraced the 'ubuntu' philosophy of "humanity towards others" should have met such a vicious and untimely death.

"This tragic event and others like it reinforces the ministry's resolve to promote peaceful approaches to dispute resolution through the Restorative Justice Programme of which Mr Dunbar was a part. We will continue to do so with the hope that these random and senseless acts of violence will become far less commonplace.

"The ministry extends its condolences to his wife, who travelled with and supported him at various RJ activities, his children and wider family, friends and colleagues," said Golding.