Oranjestad – Dutch Minister of Legal Defense Franc Weerwind has visited the Correctional Institution Aruba (KIA). “A clear contrast to the prisons I have visited in Holland”, he experienced.
The Netherlands is helping Aruba build a new prison. Weerwind is on the ABC islands this week to get to know local law enforcement, the prison system and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. In Aruba, the minister spoke with Prime Minister Evelyn Wever-Croes (MEP) and Minister of Justice Rocco Tjon (MEP) in the Administration Office. The report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Cruelty or Cruel Punishment (CPT) was discussed and especially the recommendations made. “We have explained that we are facing a shortage of staff in the court and that there are problems in the field of detention,” says Tjon.
The Ministry of Justice plans to finalize the KIA file in September. After that, the construction of the new prison can begin, according to the Aruban minister. After talks in the Administrative Office, the delegation left for San Nicolas, where they visited the prison. Weerwind was able to see for himself the condition of the KIA.
The Dutch minister posted a response to his KIA visit on LinkedIn. “During the visit I saw that a lot of maintenance is needed. Money alone will not get you there. Creative solutions and good cooperation are also needed. For example, with the help of the prisoners themselves. This gives them the opportunity to learn business while the building is being renovated. A win-win situation. ” Weerwind believes it is important that prisoners learn a trade before being released. “KIA is fully committed to this. The staff here are open and friendly, and I am impressed with how the various administrations are managed.”
The Minister of Legal Defense thinks it would be a good thing to visit prisons in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom more often. “Then we will see the possibility of applying certain laws to prisons in the European Netherlands in our part of the Caribbean.” He thought it was a special experience to look at the prison. “It is important to continue to look at ways we can improve the lives of prisoners and prepare them to return to society.”