Richardson signs contract with new provider of electronic monitoring

Richardson signs contract with new  provider of electronic monitoring

PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Justice Anna Richardson signed a three-year contract with a new electronic monitoring (EM) provider company, Buddi Ltd., on Monday, January 10.

  From February 1, the company will lease 20 ankle bracelets, doubling the current capacity.

  Buddi Ltd. is a company based in the United Kingdom with extensive experience around the globe in the field of EM equipment (ankle bracelets) and monitoring software. The procurement of this contract was realised by a public tender procedure in which different stakeholders in the justice system had an important role in the evaluation of bids.

  “I am grateful to the Ministry for having finalised this process that will allow for less pressure on our justice system. In finding innovative solutions for the corresponding justice institutions to carry out their tasks this is a step in the right direction. Whilst the construction of St. Maarten’s new prison and an enhanced rehabilitation facility remains one of my top priorities, this contract for 20 ankle bracelets allows for a less populated Pointe Blanche prison,” said Richardson.

  According to the ministry’s press release, EM is a multifunctional tool that can have a strong impact in the field of crime prevention, the protection of victims and the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

  Based on the local legislation, EM can be used in different stages of a criminal process: in the early stage as a special condition of the suspension of pre-trial detention and as a special condition attached to a (partly) conditional sentence imposed by the court.

  As the judge decides the sentence and its conditions, it is also the judge who decides whether EM is a suitable special condition in relation to the crime committed. 

  In the final stage of the criminal process, EM can be used as a special condition of (early) conditional release. In general, a detainee can be eligible for early conditional release after two-thirds of their irrevocable sentence.

  Due to the lack of cell capacity at the Pointe Blanche prison, EM is currently regularly used in cases of early conditional release. However, an inmate does not have a legal right to early conditional release with an ankle bracelet. For example, the behaviour of an inmate during detention can have an impact on a decision to grant early conditional with EM.

  The Ministry of Justice in the coming three weeks will be taking all the final steps necessary to complete the preparation process for the start of the new EM provider.