Women favour remedial law

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Women from various sectors including justice, the police, social development, child welfare and education will gather in Durban today to focus on how women play a role in fighting crime.

Project coordinator Cindy Delomoney said the meeting was to recognise the role played by women and to celebrate the success of the Justice and Restoration Project (Jarp) in Phoenix, outside Durban.

Delomoney said the project provided an alternative approach to petty and minor criminal offences.

"It introduces the victim and the offender to the restorative justice option. Both individuals get to face each other and through mediation resolve their differences."

She said in some instances the community was drawn into the conflict, especially if the case was a collective one.

She said since the Phoenix Jarp opened in April last year, the centre had mediated 2059 cases, which were referred to it by the Phoenix and Verulam courts, the police as well as schools in the area.

The majority of the cases were successfully resolved through implementation of restorative justice principles.

This has assisted in unburdening the court roll of cases relating to offences such as crimen injuria, common assault and malicious damage to property.

"Women have been significant in aspects of the criminal justice system that facilitated this success," she said.