Overview to Delivery at the Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of Justice is a newly created vehicle by the People’s Partnership Government to initiate the transformation of the criminal justice and penal systems in Trinidad and Tobago. The objective of the reform mandate is the delivery of speedier criminal justice and execution of the paradigm shift from retributive as the focus of punishment to restorative as the primary portal of addressing offender management and the incidence of recidivism.
As the Ministry moves to execute and deliver on its mandate to modernise and transform the Criminal Justice System a number of mission critical Statutory Bodies fall under its purview, such the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority, the Police Complaints Authority and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The Ministry also oversees the operations of Divisions such as the Forensic Science Centre, the Penal Reform and Transformation Unit, and Probation Services. The Mercy Committee, Sentencing Commission and Witness Protection also fall under our remit.
In preparing for delivery in fiscal; 2011/2012, the Ministry partnered with the Judiciary to identify key areas of criminal justice administration that require immediate intervention. The Judiciary singled out the overhauling of pre-trial procedures and court construction. Additionally, the Ministry has reviewed a number of pieces of legislation with a view to strengthening and modernising the investigative capacity of the State, making legal representation more widely accessible, and quickening the pace of delivery of justice for offenders and victims alike. These initiatives have resulted in a number of statutory interventions, policy development leading to a realignment of our methodologies and programmes as it relates to the management of offenders, and the beginning of a programme of court house construction.
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