Published On: Fri, Feb 9th, 2024

Uruguay-based company wins bid for design of new prison

PHILIPSBURG — CSI Engineers from Uruguay has won the bid for the design of the new prison in St. Maarten, the Ministry of Justice announced in a press release. CSI, established in 1980, lists a global presence on its website with projects in North, Central and South America, Africa and the Far East. The design for the new prison is scheduled to be complete by May of this year.

UNOPS, the United Nations Office of Project Services, supervised the selection of the engineering company.

The CSI website shows an array of projects, though none of them are prisons. CSI was involved in drinking water and wastewater treatment projects in places like Mexico, Texas and Panama. A map showing the company’s global presence also indicates activities in Haiti, but it is unclear which project or projects CSI executed there. The website reveals that CSI is involved in three main sectors: roads and transportation, industry and buildings and water, environment and territory.

UNOPS will launch the bidding process for the construction of the prison in June or July. This month it has started a market study to identify potential bidders in local and international markets. “The Ministry of Justice and UNOPS will ensure wide dissemination so local companies can learn about the UNOPS procurement process and participate in this solicitation,” the press release states.

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations finances the design phase of the project with a budget of around $4 million.

According to the press release, the design will “benefit both the prison population and its staff, ensuring full compliance with human rights and the consideration of social, gender and environmental components.”

“UNOPS strengthens criminal justice systems by planning, designing, building, and rehabilitating secure and humane correctional infrastructure such as courts and prisons. In Sint Maarten we are ensuring that social, gender, and diversity perspectives will be included in the development of the prison design, covering adequate detention for different societal groups based on specific needs of women and youth,” explained Martín Arévalo, Director of the UNOPS Office for Costa Rica and the English and Dutch speaking Caribbean.

Minister of Justice Anna Richardson expressed her satisfaction with the progress., stating that she is thrilled with the upcoming construction of the prison. The new prison will include a pre-trial ward, improved male and female wards, educational facilities, health consultation rooms, dental facilities, psychologists, recreational areas, and staff facilities.

The new prison will be equipped with enhanced security systems such as panoramic and static cameras.

“This prison project represents a giant leap forward for the government of Sint Maarten, as it will bring our detention facilities in line with the highest regional standards and address our local needs effectively,” Minister Richardson is quoted as saying in the press release.


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