Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Justice Minister Urges Judges to Refer More Children to National Child Diversion Programme

PRESS RELEASE:Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has urged high court judges to continue making referrals to the Child Diversion Programme. His latest call was made during an online training session for high court judges conducted by the Ministry of Justice’s Child Diversion (CD) Unit.

Addressing the session, Minister Chuck encouraged the approximately 38 judges from the Supreme and Appellate Courts to “join the Ministry’s work in making an important difference to the children who are exposed to multiple vulnerabilities by referring them to this Programme.”

The sensitisation session is the latest in a series of sessions hosted by the Child Diversion Office, as the effort to educate stakeholders in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.  Approximately 38 judges from the Supreme and Appellate Courts were sensitised.

Child Diversion Coordinator Ms Ruth Carey said she was pleased with the outcome of the training as it allowed the CD Unit to provide exposure on the programme to the nation’s high courts.

She revealed that next on the agenda is training of parish court judges to offer a more holistic understanding of the Child Diversion approach.  “Child Diversion unites all stakeholders who work with children and offers a more robust programme with a treatment plan that provides more benefits to children as it brings all the players of the justice sector together with the interest of the child in mind,” she stated.

Since the programme’s implementation in December 2019, 230 children have been referred and are enrolled in treatment programmes at the thirteen (13) Child Diversion offices island wide.

Contact: Ms. Paula-she’ Hastings – Senior Public Relations Officer. Email: paula-she.hastings@moj.gov.jm , Telephone: 876-301-3276

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