St. Maarten – A recent report, presented to St. Maarten’s Minister of Justice by Franklyn Richards, member of the Law Enforcement Council, contains the findings of a second follow-up study conducted by the Council, regarding the juvenile probation system in St. Maarten.
The Council had issued a first inspection report on the local juvenile probation system in March of 2013. That report contained 16 recommendations aimed at improving the juvenile probation and after care system for those juveniles, in St. Maarten. The latest report issued contains the council’s response to the question of whether and to what extent follow-up has been given to the recommendations made in 2013.
The general conclusion reached by the law enforcement council is that follow-up has been given to the majority of the recommendations. Eight recommendations are fully implemented, with six recommendations are in the course of being implemented. Only two recommendations have not yet been acted upon.
It is encouraging to note that since the 2013 report, strides have been made to give content to the system of juvenile probation counseling. Through counseling efforts are made to work with the youth, using certain methodology, such as the Help and Support Measure and the Measure of Intensive Trajectory of Supervision. Moreover, the practice of the Court of Guardianship in the coordination and supervision of community service instructions has improved.
Progress has also been made in juvenile probation counseling, with the establishment, in 2014, of the Youth Rehabilitation and Correctional Facility, known as the Miss Lalie Center that now provides care and treatment for boys between 12 and 18 years of age in a ‘closed’ environment.
Improvements have also been made in the computerization system of the Court of Guardianship, with the start of the Judicial Information System project in 2014.
Finally, the council found that as of December 2014 the project structure for a new Judicial Care Services was indeed setup, as was announced in 2013.
Through the alignment of efforts by the Ministry of Justice, the Judicial Committee on Youth Policy and the Court of Guardianship, progress is being made in the areas of juvenile probation counseling and after care system, in St. Maarten.
Pursuant to the Kingdom Act on the Law Enforcement Council, the Minister will be given the opportunity to send the relevant advices of the Council to Parliament within six weeks, along with his policy response.
The report will be available for downloading at www.raadrechtshandhaving.com, after six weeks.