Mental healthcare for detainees important | THE DAILY HERALD

The three ministers.

WILLEMSTAD–Curaçao Minister of Justice Shalten Hato (MFK) kicked off a conference within the kingdom legal system regarding mental healthcare for prisoners, placement at the disposal of government TBS and juvenile detention in the meeting room of Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS).

The three-day gathering is being attended by Minister of Justice and Social Affairs Rocco Tjon of Aruba and caretaker Minister of Legal Protection of the Netherlands Franc Weerwind. The first session focused on improving the quality of care provided to detainees under TBS measures and to young detainees.

Hato said there is an urgent need for efforts at local, regional and kingdom level that pay more attention to these issues. “Mental health is one fundamental aspect of human well-being and this applies no less to a prisoner. As minister I can emphasise that the detainee has an interest in receiving optimal care, which must be protected in the various detention institutions.”

In many cases, those undergoing a TBS measure or who are in a juvenile facility suffer from mental health problems that require specialised attention. In Hato’s view, it is of the utmost importance that the quality of care provided in detention institutions is of a high standard and meets international standards.

"This includes a wide range of services such as psychiatric evaluations, therapeutic interventions, medication management and rehabilitation programmes. The goal should not just be detention, but also a focus on the future.”

According to him, it is important to pay attention to how detainees are treated, cared for, rehabilitated and reintegrated into society, so that they become productive individuals again with a new outlook on life – “a life in which they really grasp the possibility and opportunity differently than before. Our detention facilities such as ‘Sentro di Detenshon i Korekshon Kòrsou’ (SDKK) and Judicial Juvenile Institute Curaçao (JJIC) should be equipped with appropriate staff and resources to meet the diverse needs of their inmate


Hato further emphasised collaboration within the kingdom. Cooperation at ministerial level, such as with the Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature GMN, is essential to achieve comprehensive and effective mental healthcare in the criminal justice system.

“At the local level there is a need for coordination between relevant government agencies, healthcare providers and legal authorities. This includes simplifying processes for evaluation, treatment and transition planning to ensure continuity of care throughout the process of individuals in the criminal justice system.

“A determined approach is equally important for successfully addressing mental healthcare in our criminal justice system.”

Source: The Daily Herald