“When you have money, you get justice”: Power and disadvantage in accessing formal and informal justice in Haiti

Session Number: 2244
Track: Crime and Justice
Session Type: Poster
Tags: Gender-based violence, Justice Sector Reform, power
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Roseanne Schuster, Arizona State University [Director of Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation; Global Impact Collaboratory - Arizona State University]
Time: Oct 31, 2018 (06:30 PM - 08:00 PM)
Room: Poster 68

Other Authors: Christelle Safi, Roseanne Schuster, Peggy Ochandarena, Alexandra Brewis
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Justice system reform in Haiti seeks to reduce corruption and build public trust. Prior to reform activities, a formative evaluation was conducted to characterize how individuals in three judicially underserved communities resolve conflicts. The evaluation used randomly sampled household surveys (n=4,055), cultural consensus surveys (n=810), in-depth interviews (n=48), and focus groups (n=24) to triangulate justice resolution mechanisms. Few respondents accessed the formal justice system to address conflicts (0-18% by community). Wealth and status were the cost of entry and factor in obtaining favorable resolutions in the formal justice system. Women who experienced rape and other forms of gender-based violence commonly sought informal justice and were treated differently based on marital status. The mixed methods data – including the high proportion of non-responses to cultural consensus items on gang activity - demonstrated the authority of gangs as an informal justice mechanism. This evaluation identified the existence of parallel justice systems accessed differentially depending on individual’s “power”.