PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell is very pleased with the cooperation of the Ministry of Justice as it is working diligently preparing the draft ordinance regulating a Social Formation Program for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 years.
“Safety and security of our people and visitors is a critically important aspect of the quality of life of our island.
“Prevention of criminality under our young people is key in working towards this goal. I requested earlier this year the cooperation of Minister of Justice, Dennis Richardson to work on such a program.
“A draft law geared towards this goal will be submitted by the Minister of Justice shortly to be handled by the Council of Ministers. Hereafter the draft will be sent to the Council of Advice, before it reaches Parliament for handling in the Central Committee and finally in a public meeting of Parliament,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.
The main objective of this program is to help those group of youngsters, who may fall through the cracks of society, the opportunity to receive training and support at the stage of their lives when most needed.
These young men deserve a chance to receive training in social skills, discipline. They deserve to have a better perspective to become a law abiding and contributing citizen to our young Country, and this program would offer guidance.
These preventative actions are geared towards the so called ‘risk group’, identified through the different governmental institutions, including the Court of Guardianship, and it also is geared towards the ‘so called ‘first offenders’ the opportunity for a second chance in life.”
“An important aspect of this formation program, is the cooperation between the Department of Justice, the Police, the Voluntary Corps (VKS), Court of Guardianship, the Schools and the Marines.
“A small detachment of the Marines is permanently stationed on Sint Maarten since 2013. Prevention is always preferred above detention.
“To that extent, I applaud the support of the Ministry of Defense in cooperating with the Ministry of Justice in Sint Maarten towards making this Social Formation program a soon to be reality. The program will be provided under the supervision of the commander of the Marines.
“A similar successful program already exists in Aruba and Curacao. I am thankful to Minister Hon. Dennis Richardson for his speedy handling of this draft law, and look forward to receiving it soonest in Parliament.
“More details regarding the draft Social Formation ordinance will be provided by the Minister of Justice, the Hon. Dennis Richardson,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell concluded.