Offenders on furlough to wear GPS bracelets

17th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 JUNE 2005AMSTERDAM — The TBS system of secure hospitalisation for offenders with psychiatric difficulties in the Netherlands is to be reformed.

17 JUNE 2005

AMSTERDAM —  The TBS system of secure hospitalisation for offenders with psychiatric difficulties in the Netherlands is to be reformed.

TBS patients will in future wear GPS-tracking ankle bracelets when on supervised visits outside the hospital to cut down on escapes. The movements of the person wearing such bracelets can be tracked with great accuracy by GPS positional satellites.

The Dutch Parliament decided on the changes during a debate on the case of sex offender Wilhelm Schippers, 40, who is alleged to have killed a 73-year-old man.

Schippers was on the run for a week after escaping from his guards in Utrecht train station when returning from a supervised visit to his family.

He was allegedly in possession of a loaded gun when he was recaptured next to the murder victim's house on Tuesday night . The victim's body was found in a motorboat on a canal.

It was the most serious of a string of incidents in the last few years involving TBS patients.

MPs decided during the debate on Thursday that the principle underlying the TBS system — re-socialisation and an eventual return to society — will remain unaltered.

Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner survived calls by a minority of MPs that he resign over the issue.

He agreed to a parliamentary inquiry into the entire TBS system and Donner will also put together a commission of experts to make recommendations on possible improvements.

Before the debate there had been a lot of criticism of the Christian Democrat (CDA) minister, but as the discussions in parliament continued the focus shifted to reforming  the TBS system.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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