Fri | Jan 19, 2018

More teachers and pastors wanted as JPs

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Delroy Chuck

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has encouraged more teachers and pastors to become justices of the peace in order to settle community disputes before they escalate.

Chuck made the statement at a justice sensitisation drive last week, which was held at the Ministry of Justice on Constant Spring Road in St Andrew. The aim of the drive was to get citizens more aware of how they can play active roles in the justice system, which could reduce societal conflicts and reduce backlog in the courts.

The drive was financed by the justice ministry and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP). CSJP is a government programme responsible for training persons in mediation strategies and restorative justice.

"Effectively, we want them to know that they can empower and strengthen themselves as community leaders to resolve many of the disputes and conflicts in their communities. The overall aim is to create social transformation where we have less indiscipline, less malpractice, less coarseness and brutishness, and to have a society that is kind and gentle," Chuck told The Gleaner.

Chuck highlighted that Jamaica has been under various types of restrictions, noting this has been as a result of crime and violence, which could be eased if the restorative justice begins to work in Jamaica.

"It is a process and not an event and one can hope that we can start seeing results where we have less crime, less murders because these are matters that are holding back Jamaica. Jamaica has been kept under a lot of restrictions because of insecurity and because of the fear of criminal elements. People don't feel they can invest in this country because of the atmosphere," he stressed.