Prison space assigned for subversive crimes

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – O.A. and J.S. convicted of subversive crimes, in separate cases, have begun serving their sentences at the Point Blanche House of Detention (prison) this week. The two men were called to serve their time after the Prosecutor’s Office Sint Maarten OM SXM, the executor of sentences, secured space for such inmates. 

O.A. is convicted of embezzlement of harbour funds, bribery of a public official, tax evasion and weapon possession, and is sentenced to 40 months in prison. J.A. was found guilty of corruption and money-laundering and has to serve 18 months in prison. 

In recent years, the limited number of cells has necessitated a focus on ensuring that violent convicts and those awaiting trial for violent crimes are securely behind bars. However, it has become increasingly evident that individuals convicted of white-collar crimes, such as corruption and fraud, posed a significant threat to the community, despite their non-violent nature, and should be answering for their actions. This realization has led to a concerted effort by OM SXM to ensure that outstanding sentences for these crimes are carried out.

The goal is for individuals with longer sentences for white-collar crimes to begin serving their time for the harm they have caused the community through their actions. Efforts are underway to secure more spaces for this category of crime. While these efforts are challenging due to the state of the prison, the limited number of cells, and the ongoing occurrence of other types of crimes, OM SXM remains committed to addressing this issue from prosecution to sentence execution.

This is part of OM SXM’s thorough approach concerning those crimes. Together with the Probation Service SJIS, OM SXM is also executing the community service sentences for white-collar crimes and fraud. Efforts are also being made to collect fines imposed by the Court for such crimes.