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Minister Richardson welcomes expertise to improve Justice Ministry

On Monday, August 23rd, 2021, the Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson visited the Princess Juliana International Airport to welcome the arrival of Mr. Alvin Daal from Curacao. During her work visit to Curacao last month, Minister Richardson aimed at re-establishing and forging a positive working relationship between the Ministry of Justice in Curacao and Sint Maarten. One of the topics discussed most during her work visit was the reorganization of the Point Blanche Prison & House of Detention. In an effort to improve the situation at the Prison and house of detention, Minister Richardson sent a letter to the Honorable Prime Minister and acting Minister of Justice of Curacao; Mr. Gilmar S. Pisas, requesting the expertise of Mr. Daal. Prime Minister and acting Minister of Justice Pisas responded positively to Minister Richardson’s request. Consultation and orientation talks in Sint Maarten started today, Tuesday, August 24th, 2021.

Mr. Daal is a change management expert who works for the Ministry of Justice in Curacao and was essential in restructuring Curacao’s justice chain. He comes with a wealth of knowledge and will be assisting in the restructuring and improvement of St. Maarten’s justice chain. After his assessment of the Ministry of Justice, a report will be produced with a plan of action in order to steer the Ministry in a positive direction.

During his work visit, he will be conducting an organizational assessment of the Ministry of Justice, which will include a study of the overall organizational structure, its planning and control, the budget, the primary processes concerning detainee care and rehabilitation, support processes, personnel development systems, information systems and the organizational culture of the Prison. The assessment will also include interviews with executives, core officials and staff at the prison, representative of SJIB, the Chief of Police and the Unions. Mr. Daal will also engage in a review and discussions regarding the policy responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice.

After a joint recruitment & selection process from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), BZK has hired Program Manager Mr. Rob Kietvitsbosch for a period of one year to lead the execution of the Dienst Justitiele Inrichtingen Action Plan in St. Maarten. This plan aims to holistically improve the prison system on Sint Maarten over a 5-year period. In the interim, Minister Richardson has engaged the services of SOAB to review the applicants that have put their interest forward to become Point Blanche’s prison director. This process is in its final stages and once a director has been identified, he will join Mr. Daal in Curacao for training.

The Council for Law Enforcement gave recommendations for the efficient functioning of the departments within the Ministry of Justice. These recommendations were given concerning the action points of the Progress Committee, the plans of approach of the St. Maarten country package and the work group tasks related to the Justitieel Vierlandenoverleg (JVO). As such, Focus will also be placed

on a design change plan for the Ministry. This will be aimed at comprising specific improvements and innovative activities with set timelines, responsibilities that are to be met, and finally, the financing of the implementation of the changes and the potential risks involved during implementation.

Minister Richardson stated, “The core interest in these efforts is to strengthen the Ministry of Justice and change the prison’s environment. I am extremely elated for the arrival of Mr. Alvin Daal and Mr. Rob Kietvitsbosch and to finally identify the new prison director who will undergo certain training. I look forward to delving into matters with guidance and a fresh pair of eyes as this government continues to rectify the current challenges we face within our justice chain and at our prison facility. As Minister of Justice, I will continue to make vital changes for the overall betterment of our staff, clients, inmates and the public at large.”
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