Another batch of persons to benefit from restorative justice training

The government’s Restorative Justice Initiative is gaining momentum, with another batch of persons set to undergo training as part of the programme.

The training was launched at the Police Officers’ Mess Annex in Georgetown on Monday.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC

Over the next two weeks, 23 participants will focus on effectively engaging victims, offenders, and community leaders for a more holistic approach to addressing crime.

Upon completion of the training, the practitioners will receive certificates that qualify them to apply restorative justice in their communities and social environments.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, said the programme aligns with the government’s vision of creating a dynamic justice sector, strengthening and revolutionising the way crime is tackled.

“Restorative Justice is one of the many concepts which we have incorporated into our justice system that demonstrates the government and the judiciary’s commitment to ensure that our justice system continues to incorporate the innovations, new evolving concepts, and developmental trends taking place in the different parts of the world,” he told those gathered.

Restorative Justice is an alternative approach that seeks to repair harm through the involvement of the victim, the offender, and the community.

It falls under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-funded Support for the Criminal Justice System Programme, which is aimed at addressing the overcrowding in prisons.

The AG reminded that the concept allows for a more targeted approach to minor crimes, allowing for healing and accountability.

“It allows also for the practitioner to delve deep into the root cause, because what goes before the court is simply a symptom. Restorative Justice allows the practitioner to interrogate and go to that cause, and address the disease, cure it, so the symptom will not arise,” AG Nandlall added.

This training was facilitated through a partnership with the Canadian High Commission, under the Canada-CARICOM Expert Deployment Mechanism, which provides technical assistance to member states.

A similar training was launched in January and benefitted 70 persons, which included toshaos, prison and probation officers, and non-governmental organisations.

The Restorative Justice initiative has been aligned with the probation department of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security to extend these services across the country.

Head of Cooperation for the Canadian High Commission, Adam Loyer, and Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Madam Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards also delivered remarks at the ceremony.