The Canadian Government-funded project Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) is hosting two workshops each in Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice Conference Facilitation in Barbados as part of its broader Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programme being executed in CARICOM Member States. IMPACT Justice is a regional justice sector reform project which is being implemented from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre, The University of the West Indies (“UWI”), Cave Hill Campus.
Restorative Practices is an offshoot of Restorative Justice which focuses on reducing and resolving conflict at the earliest possible stage while seeking to avoid blame and trying to find constructive solutions to issues. It promotes effective communication and working towards positive outcomes.
Representatives of regional teachers’ training colleges, assistant professors and lecturers of UWI and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) along with principals, deputy principals, guidance counsellors and teachers of both primary and secondary schools were among the participants of the Restorative Practices workshops held from March 13th – 14th. Thus far, IMPACT Justice has offered Restorative Practices training at the basic level to principals, deputy principals, guidance counsellors and education officers in Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Belize. This is the first time that representatives of UWI, UTT and teachers’ training colleges are being trained.
Some of the participants of the workshops held on March 13th – 14th, along with persons who previously received basic training, are attending the more advanced Restorative Conference Facilitation sessions on March 15th – 16th. This is the next level in reaching the goal of IMPACT Justice which is to build the capacity for a regional Restorative Practices system as a means of reducing incidences of conflict in schools.
The Opening Session for the Restorative Practices Workshops took place on March 13th, at 9.00 a.m. in the Marigold Room of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Opening Remarks were delivered by Prof. Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of IMPACT Justice. Mr. Bruce Schenk, Director, International Institute of Restorative Practices, Canada, delivered an overview of the Restorative Practices Framework and Conference Facilitation workshops.
Participants of the sessions are from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago.