The Foundation Rehabilitation Caribbean Netherlands SRCN (“Stichting Reclassering Caribisch Nederland”) has carried out the majority of the recommendations that the Law Enforcement Council (hereafter: the Council) made in 2019. The Ministry of Justice and Security (JenV) in The Hague is still working on the follow-up of other recommendations. The Council concludes this in its investigation ‘Follow-up recommendations rehabilitation and resocialization in the Caribbean Netherlands’.
The Council is positive about the way the SRCN has developed in the past years and about the follow-up that it gives to the Council’s recommendations. Also, the Foundation Krusada in Bonaire, which provides assistance to re-socialize persons who have been in contact with the law through its ‘Adelanto’ project, has been developing well. The support that both organizations receive from the Ministry of JenV plays a positive role in this.
The national government in 2019 started the ambitious trajectory ‘Changing sanction application’. The objective of this three-year trajectory is to accomplish a sanction application which, through reintegration and resocialization, effectively contributes to the return of persons who have been in contact with the law to society, thereby contributing to the reduction of recidivism and to more security. It is unclear whether this trajectory will be continued after 2021.
The Council is of the opinion that three years is too short for this ambitious and complicated trajectory. The lack of direction by the Ministry for this trajectory during the first two years has resulted in delay. The execution organizations in the Caribbean Netherlands, including the SRCN, cannot successfully complete this trajectory without the help and investments from the Ministry. The organizations lack sufficient (policy)capacity in order to do so. That is why the Council has advised the Minister to also make additional funding for this trajectory available after 2021. Minister for Legal Security Sander Dekker indicates in the policy reaction to the Council’s report that he shares this point of view. The policy reaction was recently sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.
The three public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in this regard are essential partners where it comes to crucial factors for successful reintegration and resocialization like housing, debt restructuring and employment which resort under their authority. According to the Council, it is necessary that the national government takes the limited means and capacity of the public entities into account and searches for possibilities that will truly enable the public entities to give adequately content to their responsibilities in the area of reintegration, resocialization and prevention.
Government accords with the public entities can contribute to this. One such subject that was attended to through a government accord is the combating of domestic abuse. The Minister in his policy reaction indicates that an assessment will be made how the agreements with the public entities can best be secured and suggests that a government accord can be a possibility.
With regard to the follow-up of the recommendation of the Council in 2019 to investigate the recidivism figures in the Caribbean Netherlands, the Council concludes that these figures are not available as yet in 2021. This concerns one of the eight recommendations of the Council to the Minister of Justice and Security. The Council has also made other recommendations, among other things, in the area of after-care to former detainees and residential forensic care.
The Minister indicates in the policy reaction that he will give follow-up to those recommendations, with the exception of the recommendation to set an emergency procedure for those cases for which currently no fitting forensic care in the Caribbean Netherlands can be offered. He does not see the possibility before the assessment of the local possibilities of care in Bonaire has been concluded. He will however investigate as part of that assessment for which target group treatment outside the Caribbean Netherlands can possibly have an added value.
The inspection report of the Council and the full response of the Minister to this report are public. Both have been placed on the website of the Council: www.raadrechtshandhaving.com
Law Enforcement Council Caribbean Netherlands,