Kralendijk- The new prison in Bonaire is nearly ready for use. The press yesterday received a tour through the new facilities. Today a number of volunteers will spend 24 hours in the new facility to experience first hand how it is to spend the night behind bars.
The construction of the new prison has amounted to about 40 million dollars and meets all Dutch regulations. The new complex is both a House of Detention and a prison for Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. There is a capacity for 113 men, women, foreigners and young people and the prison will employs 145 people.
JICN Director Wibo De Vries says: “There has not been a single institution in the Netherlands who has had the assignment to increase capacity tenfold in a very short time. It is a great achievement that JICN has reached the point they are now now.” Accoridng to De Vries, the succesful finalization of the project says a lot about the improvisational talent that is present on the island.
In the new youth section, young people between 18 and 24 years old will be detained. Here compulsory education is given through the program “Ban Pa Kambio.” The program is based on a new approach. This is a ‘learning and working’ process in collaboration with FORMA where an MBO diploma can be obtained and where they can learn for mason, furniture maker or car mechanic.
In the new facility, the prisoners are allowed to receive one visit every two weeks, on Saturdays. The visit lasts a maximum of 45 minutes. In special cases this may be done in a private room but usually in an open space.
The present container cells will for now still continue in use as holding cells for the Police.