The Minister of Justice launches Justice Sector Essay Contest



PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In an effort to introduce secondary students to the criminal justice sector on Sint Maarten, the Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, has invited secondary schools to participate in the Justice Sector Essay Contest which aims to encourage students to pursue a career in the criminal justice field.

The criminal justice system is any organization that is directly involved in apprehending, prosecuting, defending, sentencing, and punishing those who are suspected or convicted of criminal offenses. The system ripples through the community from top to bottom and is interconnected in ways that affects a large percentage of the population daily. It is comprised of multiple interrelated organizations including law enforcement, the courthouse, correctional institutions, public prosecutors, and defense lawyers. The system is designed to deliver justice for all by protecting the innocent, deterring and mitigating crime, sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts, but most importantly providing a fair and just process to help maintain order across the country.

Although the criminal justice system is of great importance for the functioning of our society, the influx of local professionals into this field is quite meagre. To provoke the interests of students on Sint Maarten and encourage them to broaden their career perspective to include professions in the criminal justice sector, Minister Richardson introduces this written assignment in which students are asked to write an essay from the perspective of professionals in the justice sector. The objective for the students is to place themselves in one of the positions of, for example the Minister of Justice or the Chief of police and describe 3 major things they would like to accomplish holding that position.

The Justice Sector Essay Contest will allow students to be creative. It is an interactive way to get students better acquainted with the criminal justice system and spark their interests. The winners will be selected by the justice department heads based on general grading criteria. The prizes will include, amongst other things, spending a working day with the professional the winning students chose to write about.

This initiative will be rolled out in the secondary schools accordingly. The Minister of Justice invites the representatives of the secondary schools (grade 9 and up) who have not yet been invited, to contact the below email address if interested in their students participating in this initiative. Should you need any further information, please do not hesitate to submit your questions to the below email address as well.