Dutch MPs concerned over in-custody deaths
The Labour Party is seriously concerned about the treatment of psychiatric patients remanded in custody.
In a report published in August, the health inspectorate writes that the so-called penitentiary psychiatric centres are providing adequate care, but that inmates’ files often go missing which results in irresponsible situations.
The cabinet pledged to remedy the situation, but Labour Party MP Lea Bouwmeester has serious doubts whether it has followed up on its promise.
Her doubts were fuelled by the death of a psychiatric detainee who passed away after being forcibly restrained by guards on Monday.
In free newspaper Sp!ts Ms Bouwmeester says she will ask questions in parliament about the issue:
“These people have done something really terrible, which we cannot accept and that’s why we put them in prison. But we also have a duty to provide care. The vulnerability of those people often collides with the macho culture in prison.”
The Labour MP wants to know whether the guards have been adequately trained to deal with mentally ill inmates.
“These people can become really anxious without being able to do something about it. Guards should then be able to calm them down, instead of using aggression.”
Ms Bouwmeester sees an increase in the number of in-custody deaths and wants the government to launch an investigation.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide