No money: Ministry scraps Department of Judicial Services

PHILIPSBURG – The financial situation of the Ministry of Justice is “alarming” former Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman writes in a national decree dated January 12, the Friday before the interim-government was sworn in on Monday January 15.

Because of its financial predicament the ministry does not consider it opportune anymore to establish a new organization – the Department of Judicial Services (Dienst Justitiële Zorgverlening). Initially, the ministry wanted to bring the Court of Guardianship, the Foundation Judicial Facilities Windward Islands (SJIB) and the Miss Lalie Center under this umbrella.

The decree – published in the national gazette on Friday, January 19 – states that the Court of Guardianship and the SJIB will have to execute their legally mandated tasks as independent entities and that they will have to cooperate where this is necessary.

Furthermore, the ministry makes the Miss Lalie Center – an institution Justice Minister Dennis Richardson described as a youth care center at the opening in December 2014 – now an integral part of the prison system, until the intended construction of a new prison and House of Detention has been completed.

The decree furthermore establishes that the Miss Lalie Center, located at the Venus Drive in Cay Bay, will be used for detaining male youngsters who have not reached the age of 18  yet and who have been sentenced to prison or to the house of detention.

The center also remains the place to go to for youngsters below the age of 18 who have been sentenced to youth detention and for youngsters with behavioral issues.

Source: StMaartenNews