SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – On Tuesday, February 25th, 2020, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Egbert J. Doran, signed a covenant between different services within the Ministry of Justice in order to facilitate electronic monitoring of detainees, according to a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister. This form of digital incarceration is one where ankle bracelets will be used in order to monitor the movements of detainees who are temporarily released.

One of the most important aims of introducing the Electronic monitoring system is to bring relief to the capacity of the Prison in Point Blanche, which is currently at its maximum.

Electronic monitoring will be utilized only in the following cases:

1) Suspension of pre-trial detention

2) Special condition to conditional release

3) Special condition to a conditional sentence, ordered by a judge.

The Public Prosecutor office is the entity that will allow or request the use of electronic monitoring in the case of suspension of pre-trial detention or for monitoring in a conditional sentence, in accordance with their legal authority and whenever deemed necessary and applicable.

The Police (KPSM) will be responsible for the 24/7 monitoring of the participants and will also be involved in any restorative action that may need to take place on request of the Foundation Judicial Institute, in charge of rehabilitation services in St. Maarten (SJIB).

SJIB is responsible for the guidance and overall supervision of participants of the Electronic Monitoring program.

All staff within the Ministry of Justice who will be involved in working with the Electronic Monitoring have received training. The hard- and software is provided for by a private company contracted by the Ministry of Justice.

Signing the covenant were the Chief public prosecutor, Ms. Mirjam Mol, the Chief of police, Mr. Carl John, and the Chairman of the board of SJIB, Mr. Eunicio Martina.

Minister Doran sees this as a great accomplishment for the Justice Ministry and looks forward to all stakeholders working together in order to guarantee the success of this program.

Source: Souliga Newsday