The Daily Herald reports today that Bonaire’s prison “Justitiële Inrichting Caribisch Nederland” (JICN), formerly known as the House of Detention, was overcrowded in 2012. As a result authorities were forced, as was the case the year before, to release several detainees “both through the front and back door,” according to the Annual Report 2012, from the Public Prosecutor’s Office Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
The execution of prison sentences and other detention measures occurs under the responsibility of the prosecution. Sometimes persons on remand had to be released under strict conditions (electronic supervision) within the framework
of the rehabilitation project “Verantwoord Heenzenden” (Responsible Sending Off) due to the overcrowded situation at JICN, but it also meant that convicts serving their sentences were released so that others could be accommodated.
Just like in 2011, the prosecutor regularly faced awkward choices. To use the capacity in the detention institute in an as flexible and optimal manner as possible, the Public Prosecutor’s Office discussed the intake, moving on and discharge of
detainees structurally with JICN. This way, society could trust in the choices made concerning the release of suspects and convicts.
In December 2012, JICN was expanded by 36 detention places, a temporary measure in anticipation of completing a new prison (including a house of detention) on Bonaire in 2015, with more capacity. In 2012, the police cell complexes on Saba and St. Eustatius were renovated. Suspects on these islands can now be detained there for a maximum period of 18 days. After that they will be transferred to the JICN on Bonaire. A new detention centre offering accommodation for 30 is being built on St. Eustatius and is expected to be ready in 2014. On Saba and St. Eustatius the execution of community service and the “Aggression Replacement Training” (ART) incurred an undesired delay in 2012, because there is no supervisor on St.
Eustatius and only a limited number of competent ART trainers are available. A supervisor arranged of the community service tasks on Saba in 2012, until his contract expired.
As for the community service, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is dependent on the rehabilitation worker for Saba and St. Eustatius, who helps out with community service in his time off. Cooperation agreements were made in the European
Netherlands on the execution of juvenile “at the disposal of the state” so-called TBR sentences imposed on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba; because there is no institution on the BES islands for closed youth care, convicted youngsters can be
transferred under certain circumstances to The Netherlands.
Is a new house of detention already being build on Sint Eustatius ?
There are a lot of plans, but the first stone still has to be set.
As usual Saba and Statia are left in the dark and need to pick up the crumbs and left overs of The bigger islands, in this case Bonaire.
Hopefully this year or the beginning of next year we will get the container units that were used in Bonaire when they expanded their jail, but we will not get a full scale new facility as being promised for the last few years.