Court imposes youth-measure for the first time

POSTED: 08/24/15 11:47 AM


Miss Lalie CenterThe youth care facility in Cay Bay, the Miss Lalie Center. Photo contributed.

St. Maarten – During a court hearing behind closed doors on Wednesday, the Court in First Instance sentenced a 14-year-old suspect to a so-called PIJ-measure for a period of 2 years. PIJ stands for Placement in a Young Offender Institution. It is the first time that court was able to impose the measure in St. Maarten.

The PIJ-measure is possible based on the new penal code that went into effect on June 1. It is the heaviest possible criminal measure for youngsters. It can be imposed on suspects aged between 12 and 18 years of age.

It is comparable with TBS, whereby an adult suspect is put at the disposal of the government, usually for treatment in a closed psychiatric institution. The PIJ-measure is therefore also called youth-TBS.

The measure’s prime objectives are treatment and re-education of the minor, focused on the prevention of repeat offenses. The measure can be extended for a maximum of six years.

The 14-year-old will be detained at the Miss Lalie Center in Cay Bay, dubbed the youth care center by Justice Minister Dennis Richardson.

The court imposed the measure conform the demand by youth prosecutor Karola van Nie. The prosecutor’s office did not disclose details of the charges against the young offender.

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