Belgium’s young offenders could soon be in the army
19 January 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgian judges are soon to be given the power to force young offenders to do time in the army instead of prison.
The full details of the plan are to be revealed at a press conference later this month at the Beauvechain military base.
La Libre Belgique reported that Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Defence Minister Andre Flahaut had already agreed the idea, based on pilot projects run in Belgium’s Luxembourg province and eastern Flanders.
The socialist minister Flahaut told the parliament last week that the projects “had been judged positively by all parties concerned”.
Little has so far been said about the type of army work that convicted criminals will be forced to do, but the tasks will not be ones that could compete with military workers’ contracts.
That means criminals would not be cleaning the toilets, for example.
It would be the job of army personnel to monitor the criminals during their sentence and contact judiciary workers in the case of any problems.
Flahaut has insisted that when a criminal has served his time in the army, he will not be given any preferential treatment in terms of National Defence recruitment.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news