More JPs needed as mentors, says Justice Minister

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck (right), listens to Custos Rotulorum of St. Andrew, Dr Patricia Dunwell, during a Child Diversion sensitisation session at the Ministry of Justice, in St Andrew, on Thursday. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck, is calling on more Justices of the Peace (JPs) to become mentors for youth under the Child Diversion Programme.

During a Child Diversion sensitisation session at the Ministry of Justice in St Andrew on Thursday, August 22, Chuck noted that when the programme is rolled out, assistance will be needed from JPs across the island.

“We need persons like you to be mentors, because if we don’t…what is going to happen is, instead of the 200 or 300 gangs that we have now, they will proliferate into 500 gangs,” Chuck said.

Child diversion is the process of implementing measures to deal with children who are alleged, accused or recognised to have infringed the law, without resorting to formal judicial proceedings.

The national programme aims to reduce the number of children who are charged with offences and exposed to the formal criminal justice system as a result, and increase the use of diversionary programmes that rehabilitate children as a response to crime and wrongdoing.

The Child Diversion Programme will be fully rolled out by November.