Expatica news

Prison murder ‘could have been prevented’

13 January 2004

AMSTERDAM — The death of a 51-year-old activities guide at a prison in Leeuwarden last year has been attributed to failings in Justice Ministry policy aimed at thwarting violent attacks.

The Labour Inspectorate claimed on Tuesday that the woman had received insufficient training and was occasionally in a room with five detainees who had easy access to work tools. The room’s windows were also covered over.

The woman was killed by the then 29-year-old detainee B. M., when she was attacked with a hammer and chisel at the De Marwei jail on 29 January 2003. There were no prison guards in the room when the attack took place, news agency ANP reported.

M. had previously been sentenced to 1.5 years in jail and TBS psychiatric treatment after violently attacking his father. The man had served his prison term and was waiting in the Leeuwarden jail for a place in a TBS clinic when he killed the prison employee.

Police inquiries into the killing had indicated that the woman’s death could not be attributed to human errors or existing judicial procedures.

The investigation also indicated that M.’s behaviour last year could not have been predicted and the Assen Court has again sentenced him to continued TBS detention.

And the judiciary has distanced itself from the inspectorate’s report. But several recommendations have been accepted, such as improving the documentation and evaluation of violent incidents. Work instructions will also be more closely checked and controlled.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news