Thu | Dec 13, 2018

Hanover JPs being trained to mediate

Published:Monday | February 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

With crime, violence and other security concerns keeping western Jamaica under the microscope, the Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), has embarked on a mediation training seminar for justices of the peace (JPs) in the region.

Some 22 JPs from Hanover are now undergoing a five-day, 40-hour mediation training course, which is taking place at the Global Villa Hotel, just outside the parish capital, Lucea.

Facilitator Paul Hines, the content and delivery leader of the Knowledge Management Division of the DRF, told The Gleaner that the Hanover seminar is part of a series of training sessions that the DRF is doing for the Ministry of Justice.

"We have been training JPs all over the island, so we are now training in Hanover. We have St James to do, Trelawny, Westmoreland, and I think we have a couple more training sessions to do in Kingston and St Catherine," he stated.

He added that the training initiative was as a result of the request of the minister of justice asking JPs to consider becoming mediators, as because of their presence in their communities, the additional knowledge will make them an added asset in the effort to establish peace, and the control of crime and violence, in their respective communities.

He said that the aim is to train an average of about 25 to 30 justices of the peace in each parish by the end of the financial year in March.

"The mediators' training course which we have been doing since 1994 is a five-day, 40-hour programme, and that programme allows us to present what it is a mediator is supposed to do and have the trainees actually role-play what a mediator does," he explained.

"We layer it from stage one right to stage seven, so the programme is structured and it is done in a way that appeals to the different learning styles," he noted.

He pointed out that the aim is to have all the participants become certified mediators and gazetted.