PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman addressed Wednesday’s, April 5, Council of Ministers Press Briefing.
He congratulated the new Minister of TEATT on her appointment, and thanked the members of the TEATT cabinet. “I know that they would continue to perform as professionally as they have done from the beginning and with their new Minister,” he said.
He also thanked the community groups on St. Maarten, who have already started to demonstrate their involvement in assisting with the issue with crime fighting. “At the beginning of my term, I mentioned that fighting crime is not just the police, or the Minister of Justice. It’s all of us,” Minister Boasman stated.
The Minister informed that two projects have been recently completed. Police renovated the appearance of their front office. This was an initiative of the police, but it was made possible by support from different community groups.
“These types of cooperation and assistance mean more than just the material part of it. It shows the police. Also what they do in the community, what they come out to do every day is appreciated by members of the community, and those members of the community support them,” he said.
Minister Boasman, also accepted, on behalf of the prison, a donation of books from the Rotary Club of St. Maarten. This was one of the issues that the judge made reference to. Updated books in the prison’s library was a recommendation of the court. “The books that were updated, the titles of the books are very appropriate to be used in that particular library,” Minister Boasman informed.
“If it takes one of the inmates to read one of those books, and reflect on how they would move forward from where they really are, then it would have been worth the effort….We all should read more, and the fact that you made a mistake in your life, and that you are now in custody doesn’t mean that it doesn’t apply to you,” he noted.
On losing the case in court, Minister Boasman said, “I was still happy with the outcome. I put a positive spin to it, because I believe that all of those things that were there were in the plan, are in the plan, and I think what the judge did was make sure that, knowing that some of these things would be on a lower priority, than some of the major things, in this verdict the judge made sure that they would also get the necessary attention as these relate directly to the inmates.”