Courts Service, Dublin Coroners Court & Irish Prison Service launch JAM Cards
Thursday, 23 September 2021: The Courts Service, the Dublin Coroners Court and the Irish Prison Services launch JAM Card initiative with JAM Card organisation NOW Group at a photocall at the Bail Office, Criminal Courts of Justice, Parkgate Street, Dublin 7.
“On behalf of the Courts Service I am delighted to confirm, with over 70% of our staff already JAM Card trained, that we are well on our way to becoming the first JAM (Just A Minute) Card friendly Civil Service organisation in the Republic of Ireland. Providing improved customer service for all our court office users is one of the main aims of our Modernisation Programme. The JAM Cards demonstrate our commitment and that of our colleagues across the organisation to improved access to justice for all, as we start our journey of change” explained Angela Denning, CEO of the Courts Service at the JAM Card launch.
Maeve Monaghan, CEO, NOW Group, the Belfast-based social enterprise, that supports people with learning difficulties and autism explained the importance of this multi-agency project “There are now over 75,000 JAM Card users and 1,800 organisations that have trained their staff to offer the best possible customer service to people with hidden disabilities. Equitable access to public services is, of course, essential and I welcome the commitment shown by these leading organisations in the justice sector.”
The JAM Card allows people to ask for a minute of patience in any situation they need it including in shops, restaurants, public transport and accessing public services. It is also available as an app for smartphones that allows users to select different screen display options including ‘I have autism’, ‘I have a condition’ and ‘I have a brain injury’. Anyone looking for Just a Minute can do so at public offices across the Court Service, at the Dublin Coroners Court and at two pilot locations (Midlands Prison and Castlerea Prison) across the Irish Prison Service into the future).
Speaking about the JAM Card launch Séamus Beirne, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Irish Prison Services said, of the JAM Card initiative which is launching across two pilot offices in the organisation, that “The Irish Prison Service is delighted to be associated with this pilot project together with the Courts Service, the Dublin Coroner’s Court, and the Department of Justice to implement the use of the JAM Card, for which an Innovation Funding award was made by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. The JAM Card initiative will be rolled out throughout the prison estate in the coming months with the Midlands Prison and Castlerea Prison agreeing to pilot the project. Staff dealing with the public will be trained first including those in the visits and search areas.“
Dr. Myra Cullinane, the Senior Dublin District Coroner, Dublin Coroners Court and Dr. Emily Jordan, Coroners Service Operations, Department of Justice, explained that “The Dublin District Coroner’s Court values the opportunity to become involved in this project. Bereaved persons interacting with the staff of the Court often do so at a time of great personal distress. Through the introduction of the JAM card initiative our staff hope to offer further support to those who come into contact with the service where particular needs may previously have been unrecognized.”
Ms. Denning explained the origins of the JAM Card initiative in the Courts Service “The idea to become a JAM Card friendly organisation was first highlighted by colleagues through our “Call for Ideas” innovation initiative. The opportunity to develop this idea into a reality was made possible through the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) funding from the Public Service Innovation fund and we were delighted that the Dublin Coroners Court and the Irish Prison Service joined the project group supported by the Department of Justice. We hope this collaborative approach will encourage many other public service organisations to get involved and we wish them well on their JAM Card journey”