Tue | Jan 22, 2019

One thousand schools for Justice sessions

Published:Monday | October 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM

More than 1,000 schools will be targeted for restorative justice and sensitisation sessions next year.

It's a move that Justice Minister Delroy Chuck feels could help to reduce the level of aggression and tension in the society.

"Let me state very frankly that Jamaica has many, many problems and regrettably, there are far too many persons in our society who want to increase the problems. However, if collectively we could pull together, we can solve many of the problems," said Chuck. He reiterated that crime, indiscipline and corruption are rampant in the country and offered that the Ministry of Justice, "and certainly the Government of Jamaica and all right-thinking people, would like to embrace and encourage more persons to be part of the solution".

He was addressing 140 attendees, inclusive of students and teachers, from nine Corporate Area schools, including Denham Town Primary, St Andrew Technical High School, Kingston High School and Donald Quarrie High School. The event was the seventh Justice Sensitisation Session held recently at the Justice Complex on Constant Spring Road. Carol Palmer, permanent secretary at the ministry, had a message for the children.

"What I want you to do is to go back to your schools and to your communities and be a positive influence and agents of change," she said. Palmer explained that the ministry's plan, when they go into the schools, would be to work with the entire school community on restorative practices so that a positive culture will be created in the school environment.

"So instead of making sure I pick up the knife, or my dagger - whatever it is - to come to school, I am going to come to school with an attitude that encourages positive responses when conflicts arise, because conflicts will come," she said.

Describing the ministry's mission as a 'crusade', Chuck continued his appeal for good-standing persons in the communities to become justices of the peace (JPs), volunteering to be trainers and facilitators in restorative justice. The Ministry of Justice continues its sessions across Jamaica to educate community leaders, teachers, pastors, JPs and stakeholders on its services. Presentations are made on issues including human trafficking, victim services, drug abuse and child diversion.