SAN JUAN – The Jamaican parliament debated on Monday a bill to implement restorative justice nationwide, building on the success of a pilot program implemented in several communities across the island.
The measure calls for making restorative justice an available option in the formal justice system, allowing some cases to be resolved outside the courtroom, Justice Minister Mark Golding said in a statement.
“It also means that the communities and the people involved will benefit from a sustainable form of justice that will really heal the wrong, focus on the victim’s needs and allow them to move on with their lives,” the minister said.
Restorative justice seeks to rehabilitate offenders through positive engagement with victims and reintegration within the community.
The idea was tested in several communities across the island under the Citizens Justice and Security Program, which is funded largely by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Canadian and British governments.
The initiative has pursued the establishment of Restorative Justice Centers in several communities as well as the training and certification of some 200 specialists in conflict resolution.