Entornointeligente.com / WESTERN BUREAU:
Newly installed custos of Trelawny, Hugh Gentles, has pledged to recruit 60 new justices of the peace (JP) by year end.
“Completed forms have been submitted to the police for investigations to commence. It is part of the process for one to be installed,” Gentles told The Gleaner .
Gentles, who has been a justice of the peace for more than 30 years, acknowledged that migration and death had contributed to attrition in the complement of Trelawny JPs.
There are 240 active JPs in the parish.
“The Ministry of Justice has an established ratio; it is one justice of the peace to 100 persons in the community. We are far from that in Trelawny, but we have to start somewhere,” said Gentles, who became custos earlier this year following the retirement of Paul Muschett.
Gentles’ mission to bolster the JP cadre in Trelawny has been endorsed by businessman Kenneth Grant, president of the Trelawny Lay Magistrates Association, who is working closely with him.
“I have told my zone leaders in Clark’s Town and Falmouth to recommend persons between the ages of 25 and 35 in the majority of cases,” said Grant, adding that farmers and shopkeepers are willing to serve.
Insisting that he is not prepared to accommodate profilers, Grant made it clear that he only wants recruits who are fully committed and willing to work
“There are persons who are happy to be installed so they can walk around and say I am a JP but do very little,” the businessman said.
“They don’t visit the cells at the police station; they are not available for petty session courts and cannot be found by the people who need their service. This must change and this new cohort is the beginning.”
Gentles said that he is expecting timely delivery of annual reports from the parish’s lay magistrates’ association, which will give insight into the performance of JPs.
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner