End to automatic early release

15th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The rule of thumb that detainees are released automatically after serving two-thirds of their sentence will not be the case anymore.

15 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – The rule of thumb that detainees are released automatically after serving two-thirds of their sentence will not be the case anymore.

A large majority in Parliament agrees that early release should be replaced with a scheme that only allows prisoners early release under strict conditions.

This emerged on Thursday during the debate on long-awaited proposed legislation to this effect. The proposal would also ensure that prisoners who misbehave may have to wait longer for early release, if they are eligible at all.

"We are pleased with this, though it has taken a long time," said fundamentalist Christian SGP MP Kees van der Staaij, echoing the sentiments of many.

If prisoners fail to comply with the conditions of their release, like being required to report to the police regularly or being banned from certain areas, they will have to return to prison for the remainder of their sentence. Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin expects that strict conditions like these could be imposed on 80 percent of the 3,000 to 4,000 prisoners who become eligible for early release each year.

The proposed bill also stipulates that the minister of justice may release prisoners before they have served two-thirds of their sentence if a cell shortage makes this necessary.

The SGP and Liberal VVD want to scrap this part of the bill. Coalition parties Christian democrat CDA and Labour PvdA think that Hirsh Ballin should be able to use this "emergency valve." There is no shortage of cells at the moment.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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