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Use of ankle tags declines

Published on 20/07/2007

20 July 2007

BRUSSELS – The number of convicted persons fitted with ankle tags has dropped from 612 to 457 since March, whereas the government today envisages a need for 1,300.

Electronic surveillance was seen as one of the measures necessary to reduce overcrowding in prisons. Last month, the Belgian prison population reached a record high of 10,097 detainees, almost 1,800 higher than the capacity of the buildings in use. Since then there has been a slight reduction to 9,935, as emerges from the internal figures of the penitentiary board.

Justice minister Onkelinx appreciates the problem. She points out that, since February, the criminal courts have taken over a part of the decision-making on electronic surveillance from the administration. “This transition appears to have caused a delay”, says spokesperson Saar Vanderplaetsen. She emphasises that electronic surveillance also requires supervision and that capable personnel need to be taken on for this task.

According to the Onkelinx cabinet, there has actually been a budget provision to attain an electronic surveillance figure of 1000 detainees by the end of 2007.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news