State Secretary Teeven meets with Statia EXCO

State Secretary of Security and Justice, Fred Teeven met with the Executive Council of the Public Entity of St. Eustatius on Monday morning. The meeting addressed the detention of prisoners, administration fees for immigration, family visits, rehabilitation and the capacity of the local police force.
The Executive Council of St. Eustatius would like to see an expansion of the local police force, an earlier start with the process of re-socializing detainees and also provision for the detention of prisoners locally. Both parties explored how to improve the current situation. The extension of the current police cells for short term prisoners (3-6 months) is a potential solution. They further discussed potential short term solutions such as video conference for family visits for prisoners in Bonaire.
Teeven agreed to follow up on a number of these matters during his visit to Bonaire later this week. “The discussions with the Executive Council were constructive. When I return to the Netherlands I will take these matters up within my Ministry. In March there will also be a meeting of the chain partners and I will ensure that the concerns of the Executive Council of St. Eustatius are placed on the agenda”, stated Teeven.
Teeven and his delegation toured the island with stops at the Man-o-War, location for the prison, the Fire Department, Unit for Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND), the Public Prosecutors Office and the Police Station. At these departments, the State Secretary spoke with management and the workers to gain insight into their experiences and the operation of these agencies which fall directly under the responsibility of the Ministry of Security and Justice. At the police station Teeven inspected the detention cells to see with his own eyes if extension is possible.
State Secretary Teeven and delegation is on an official working visit to St. Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire from February 15th until February 20th. The main purpose of the visit is to get acquainted with the islands and mainly with the prison system, rehabilitation and judiciary youth policy. He will visit Saba Monday and Tuesday February 16th and 17th and will hold similar talks there with the Executive Council.