~30M Euros made available by Dutch Government.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Justice Anna Richardson confirmed on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers press briefing that UNOPS will be returning to St. Maarten sometime this month to continue its discussion on the Pointe Blanche Prison expansion.
Asked by SMN News how much the project will cost and how much will St. Maarten have to contribute the Minister said that the total cost of the project is not yet known and only when those figures are made available to the country only then would St. Maarten know what amount the country would have to contribute.
The Minister of Justice explained that the Netherlands already made 3O million euros available for the project, she said that based on the discussions with UNOPS it has been disclosed that 20 million euros will be used for the construction while the other 10 million euros will be used for a period of five years as a disbursement for the operations of the facility.
The Minister further explained that the plan is to construct a facility across from the Pointe Blanche Prison which will be used to hold the prison population while the prison facility is demolished and reconstructed. Richardson said that the sub-facility will eventually be used for juveniles. The Minister said that the sub-facility would have to be able to hold both male and female detainees.
One of the goals the Minister said is to create programs for the youths to avoid them ending up behind bars.