Jail House Rock VS No Hay Dinero

The European Commission of Human Rights apparently stated that our jail was under par, and we have failed every audit for the past 15 years.

We gotta fix it or build a new one.

But: No Hay Dinero.

Besides, Jails are closing everywhere around the globe, because they fail to rehab their residents, so why are be counter-trending.

Recently, Aruba’s MinJust published an RFRI in the media, Request for Expression of Interest for the building of the next correctional institute with a life-span of 30 years.

As you perhaps know already, our old correctional institute, KIA, has reached the end of its viability, it is difficult to maintain where it stands, naked in the wind, on the south-western coast, and prisoners must be relocated to an updated facility. In fact, the jail is currently so full, and so dilapidated, that they are only keeping the serious offenders they must keep, and letting others go.

Where would you built the next correctional institute?

Remember NIMBY?       

The Not in My Backyard, principle.

 Where would you stick it?

We live on a small Island; every neighborhood is someone’s backyard. Thus the authorities will run into the same problem as the windmill farm, wherever they wish to put it.

So, while thinking about the new fully-compliant jail, we came up with a THREE PRONGED strategic plan to combat criminality, and we conceived a 200million plan for you, because a jail, IS NOT ENOUGH.

We also need a good Mental Institution, and it will require a large investment. Same urgency as a jail.

If mental illness continues to go unchecked, crime will be on the rise.

We also need a form of Terbeschikkingstelling, TBS, which is a provision in the Dutch criminal code that allows for a period of treatment following a prison sentence for mentally disordered offenders.

Prison sentences are enforced first, and then followed by TBS, run by experts in criminology and drug abuse, not as a punishment, but as an act of helpful supervision and guidance.

The current choice of letting offenders go, OR incarcerating them with very limited treatment, is inadequate, especially in view of young lost souls, the ones who are using or dealing, with zero intervention.

A recap for the MinJust: You need a three pronged approach, a jail house, a mental health institution and a system of placement under expert mental health care supervision.

BUT NO HAY DINERO. How many of our community would be willing to pay for a Rolls Royce jail plus mental institution plus rehab.

Shall we fundraise? Impose an extra 2% BBO so the inmates could live a dushi bida? Collect a 5% Prisoner Solidarity Tax above import duties?

Finance it through another PPP? CAFT will have kittens.

Conclusion: Pay no attention to the RFRI, it is a day-dream. Just add it to the list of issues that must be fixed: Health Care, Education, and Social Affairs.

Unless you cut 400 public servants to just meet the interest payment requirements for the 200million plan we conceived. 


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August 12, 2019
Rona Coster