Four prisoners transferred to Netherlands for safety reasons
POINTE BLANCHE, Sint Maarten (14 May 2023) – Four prisoners from Sint Maarten with varying sentences for crimes including murder, manslaughter, bodily harm, and sexual assault of a minor were transferred this month to prison facilities in the Netherlands due to safety concerns. Three more prisoners are set to be transferred by the end of the month for similar reasons.
These prisoners are serving sentences ranging from two to 22 years.
The transfer process involved significant collaboration between stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and the Prosecutor's Office expressed appreciation to all parties involved, including the Minister and Ministry of Justice of Sint Maarten, the Police Force of St. Maarten KSPM, the prison, and the Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar). The KMar was instrumental in the transportation of the prisoners.
These transfers to the Netherlands, while very needed due to safety concerns, have created space in the prison, bringing it from at-capacity to having available cell space. This availability does not make the prison less pressured as suspects in pretrial detention, housed in Philipsburg, will take up the spaces. The continued detainment of the suspects as they await trial is also important for the overall safety of the Sint Maarten community as a lack of cell space can (and has in the past) lead to suspects being released pending trial.