The Ministry of Justice is now spearheading renovation work at the St James Parish Court, to the tune of $43 million.
The scope of work includes tiling and painting, as well as plumbing and electrical installations. Additionally, a ramp will be erected to allow for wheelchair access for the elderly and infirm.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck noted that the renovations are part of the Ministry’s ongoing renovation and maintenance of courts towards enhancement of the built environment for justice service delivery.
“The St James Parish Court processes most of the caseload for criminal and civil matters in the parish and this high utilization results in much internal infrastructure wear and tear. In addition, its coastal location makes it vulnerable to the effects of heavy rainfall,” he explained.
In the 2019/20 Financial Year, the Justice Ministry expended in excess of $700M to renovate the built environment that supports the justice sector. The Justice Minister noted that this ongoing renovation and refurbishment is having a positive effect on public trust and confidence in the justice system, with the results of a 2019 survey indicating a notable improvement in the rating received from the public for justice facilities.
“We are making every effort to ensure that Jamaicans have first world justice facilities to conduct their business,” he said.
The current renovations are expected to take four months.
Approximately $652.5 million will be spent to renovate justice sector infrastructure during this Financial Year, including continued refurbishment of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions; and renovation of the historic Manchester Parish Court, which was damaged by fire last November.