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NEWS

Short Update: Belgium has reduced its prisoner population by 11% to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but there are fears over a ‘boomerang’

FairTrialsAdmin - May 6, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prisoner releases, Prison conditions

Belgian prisons have reduced the number of people in prisons by 11% (in French) over the last two months, in order to prevent overcrowding.  

This has brought the total prison population much closer to the actual capacity of prisons. Prisoners who are considered to have behaved well have been released, apart from those sentenced to more than 10 years, or for terrorism offences, or moral reasons. Less arrest warrants have also been issued, and the courts have allowed people to be released with electronic tags, or other conditions.  

However, prisoners have been prevented from leaving prison in order to avoid comings and goings, and people are only being allowed out if they have suffered a bereavement.  

There is also a serious concern over the ‘boomerang’ effect after the crisis is over, with detainees forced to return, potentially resulting in more severe overcrowding and the system being overwhelmed. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]  

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