Peter van der Noord who are in charge of this project via the ministry of justice. They said they are not responsible for the location, they will just build the prison. And yes, the location behind the mountain, Steward, is where they are working on. They gave Stenapa and Secar the assignment to study the area. Some facts: the prison is for local people from Statia and Saba. It will have 30 cells. Such a small capacity is unique and it is a challenge to find personell. It will provide 35 jobs and they will look for personell locally first. Some of the tasks will be shared with the Bonaire prison. To reintegrate the people in the prison they are still looking for possibilities to put them to work. This work will not compete with local job opportunities. Next Tuesday they will be on the island and have an information session at the public library from 5 to 6.30 pm. At that information session they will focus on the security and the lights: the impact on the neighborhood. They are aware of the fact that this new location is a different one that the one that was planned.
I am not in favor of moving the to be built prison to the location on the east side of the island. I believe it is in the area of Steward. The arguments I have heard for a change of location simply do not hold any water.
- The location at Man of War (along the road to the terminal) is to close to the airport. Prisoners who escape can take Winair and leave the island is the opinion of the coalition. My opinion is that this is utter nonsense.
- The location mentioned above is to close to the oil terminal. Escaped prisoners can go there and blow up a tank. My opinion: same as above. In general escaping and hiding in the area behind the mountain seems more realistic than at Man of War.
- The location is too close to where most people are living. Also this seems not a valid reason. In Holland in a number of cities prisons are located in the center of town and even in some cases in upscale neighborhoods. And as I understand it goes perfectly well.
What I also find kind of amazing is that just weeks after the coalition did approve the spatial plan and as a matter of fact approved the location designated for a prison at Man of War they decided that it should be built in another location. This does not proof of any long term vision.
In my opinion the original location fits much better in the long term development vision of the island. Also the ministry of justice is of the opinion that the construction of a prison can be combined with public facilities like for instance in the areas of sports and healthcare and they have funding allotted for this. A location that is too remote will not be suitable for this purpose.
I agree that in order to change the spatial plan a certain procedure need to be followed including a procedure to allow objections by the population. I herewith also want to confirm that at no time the change of location have been brought to the attention of the island council.
Island member Island Council DP
Opinion Ernie Simmons
Clyde went on television proclaiming the new location for the prison as if it was a great achievement of the new Government. He seemed to relish in the fact that it was located next to where Joshua Spanner lives. They don’t really see the need for the prison and if it comes push it as far away from civilization as possible incase some jumps out. I believe that prisons are built to keep prisoners inside and if they jump out it is a rarity and on Statia they can’t hide very far. I believe the prison should come to rehabilitate our misguided young people and criminals. When there is no jail space criminals remain free to continue terrorizing the community. The jail is also a boost to the economy and will provide good jobs for our people. With all the services we require on Statia we need all the economic activity possible. Clyde and his government are not bounded by the law and preliminary financial supervision is the first result of which I believe there will be many more to come.
Reliable sources say the planned prison will have a different location.
The new location will be around the Mountain, close to the botanical garden.
In the spatial plan that was signed in April 2010, there was a location destined for the prison to be built.
you can see that location.
This spatial plan did not fall from the sky.
It was carefully considered, discussed and debated and by signing it, in April 2010, all of the then island council members agreed upon it.
One of the advantages of having the prison located there according to plan, close to the terminal offices, up that hill, is, that there is transparancy there.
There is a good infrastructure, a good road, an open area, so that no secrecy etc. can happen.
Another advantage of that location is the area around it.
In the economic development plan, this is the area for industry.
This is where DROB can come in the future, this is where factories can be placed.
The people in the prison will not be all inside all day.
The plan is to have them integrate.
That means they will have to work.
To take them back and forth to work will be easy and safe from that location.
This was all considered and thought through.
When the executive council wants to change something in the spatial plan,
according to the law, they have to explain why they want to change the plan.
The arguments have to be valid.
Did the people of Statia hear of such arguments?
Before a change in the spatial plan can be established, the new map has to be made public.
People can then have the opportunity to complain.
Did the people of Statia see that map?
The plan of relocating the location of the prison has not even been discussed on the island council floor.
Statianews calls upon the politicians of Statia to give some answers.