photo: Tim van Dijk

PHILIPSBURG – A juvenile delinquent who received a 12 month jail sentence from the court in Sint Maarten, gets to go home after the trial. Sometimes they receive an ankle monitor but more often than not they don’t due to a lack of monitors and the fact that the Justice Department isn’t equipped to monitor the monitors.

“I can imagine that the people of Sint Maarten don’t feel safe with the current situation”, says Dutch minister Sander Dekker.

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By Tim van Dijk [English subtitles available]

A delegation from the Dutch Parliament, including state secretary for Kingdom Affairs Raymond Knops and the minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker, is visiting Sint Maarten, Saba, and Statia during the next three days to visit and discuss the detention facilities.

Prison almost written off
The Point Blanche prison is in an advanced state of disrepair. The detainees cannot develop any new skills because the prison does not have the required facilities for such activities. The prison has nearly been written off and does not meet the criteria set out in the Geneva Convention for human rights.

After having consulted minister de Weever, Sint Maarten’s Minister of Justice, it was decided that containers, which had previously been used on Bonaire, would be temporarily used for additional support.

The Netherlands paid to house detainees
Minister Dekker has said that Sint Maarten’s worst offenders, who have been jailed in the Netherlands since hurricane Irma in 2017, will be brought back to Sint Maarten as soon the situation allows it. Sint Maarten is currently paying the Netherlands 120,000 euros per month to jail these detainees.