Penal Reform and Transformation Unit
The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit was established in the year 2007 as a Division under the Ministry of National Security, with the mandate to facilitate the implementation of Restorative Justice and the transformation/reformation of the Penal System. Now a Division of the Ministry of Justice, The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit operates conjunctively with the Offender Management interests transforming the Criminal Justice System using a Restorative Justice Philosophy and Reintegration Penal Policy. The Unit assists in reforming the Penal System of Trinidad and Tobago, the rehabilitation of offenders and supporting justice for victims.
To be a strategic, performance-driven team who will reposition corrections and create a more integrated Criminal Justice system
To advance corrections in an effort to transform the Criminal Justice System using a Restorative Justice Philosophy and Reintegration Penal Policy
Restorative Justice is first and foremost about transformation of perspectives, structures and persons: especially staff involved in corrections administration. It is a system that seeks to administer justice by providing opportunities for victim, community and the offender to repair the damage that was inflicted by the offender. It tries to teach the qualities of empathy and justice and to make the offender more caring in so that he/she can feel the emotions related to suffering which may be lacking based on their upbringing and ultimately accept responsibility for his/her actions. This does not seek to reduce the punitive element of incarceration but rather allow the offender to recognise the impact his/her actions had on the victim and community, and become better prepared to be a positive contributing member to society.
Three principles form the foundation for Restorative Justice
- Justice requires that we work to restore those who have been injured.
- The most directly involved and affected by crime should have the opportunity to participate fully in the response if they wish.
- Government’s role is to preserve a just public order, and the community’s is to build and maintain a just peace.
Restorative programmes are characterised by four key values:
Create opportunities for victims, offenders and community members who want to do so to meet to discuss the crime and its aftermath
Expect offenders to take steps to repair the harm they have caused members of society
Seek to restore victims and offenders to whole, contributing members of society
Provide opportunities for parties with a stake in a specific crime to participate in its resolution
The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit exists to serve swift justice for victims while rehabilitating offenders so that they can be re-integrated into society. To achieve its success, The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit has developed and provided Restorative Justice Programmes for both victims and offenders.
Please visit Contact Us and FAQ for more information on The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit.