The Pointe Blanche Prison.
~ 24 sitting inmates undocumented ~
PHILIPSBURG--As of October 2022, based on information provided by the Prosecutor’s Office, at least 136 people are waiting to serve their time in prison, Justice Minister Anna Richardson informed Members of Parliament (MPs) during a meeting last week Thursday, February 9.
She was at the time responding to a question from independent MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten during the continuation of a meeting on the prison.
Asked how many on the waiting list are undocumented, the minister said at this time, the Prosecutor’s service is not focused on the status of persons on the waiting list and as such, such information cannot be provided.
The current population of the prison is 87 – 80 males and 7 females. Of this number, 24 inmates are undocumented. Of the inmates incarcerated, almost half, 45, are first-time offenders. A total of 11 inmates between the ages of 18-25 are first-time offenders. A total of four inmates are nearing 2/3 of their sentence this year, and five will be nearing 2/3 of their sentence in 2024.
The minister was also asked whether there is a policy relating to good behaviour of inmates; based on what criteria are they being evaluated, who oversees the criteria and whether the policy is currently active.
The minister said the criteria include, but are not limited to observations such as the number and types of violations (if any); participation in day-time programme (educational/work programmes) and the overall behaviour towards guards (general inmate conduct). This, she said, is done by the social workers with advice to the prison director. The benefits of good behaviour can include participation in family fun day, family treats day and other “high-valued privileges.”