Getting a prison sentence of two to three years by a judge and not flying behind bars for a second. It was, however contradictory, the reality in our country. As a rule, the sentence was served at home with an ankle bracelet. With low sentences, a conviction often turned out to be only for the stage. The main reason: the overpopulation of our prisons. For months we have been flirting with the “magic” limit of 11,000 inmates. In corona time, Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) already decided to collectively grant a six-month penalty.
Always (even) in cell
Under the new system, which comes into effect from today, convicts (between 2 and 3 years) will no longer escape the inner walls of the prison. “A convicted person cannot immediately be placed under electronic surveillance,” the FPS Justice said. Previously, that seemed the rule rather than the exception.
READ ALSO. THE VOICES OF ASSISES. Our reporter went undercover as a jailer: “Face to face with a known killer, that was exciting”
The recipe: penalty discount and anklets
Again, an additional penalty reduction of six months can be obtained. “Anyone who has served one third of his sentence can be granted conditional release. Six months earlier, a detainee is eligible for limited detention or an ankle bracelet.” In concrete terms, someone with an imposed staff of 24 months will in the best case only have to spend two months (8 months – 6 months discount, ed.) behind bars; whoever 36 months gets half a year.
READ ALSO. “This just doesn’t work”: Van Quickenborne also clashes within the majority with resistance with a plan to release prisoners earlier
“Systematic reduction of sentences”
Member of Parliament Sophie De Wit (N-VA) denounces the “systematic shortening of sentences.” “Despite his big words and many promises, the minister simply does not succeed in creating sufficient prison capacity. This federal government is opting for early release of criminals rather than policy.” She speaks of a terrible signal to our society. “The execution of sentences in this country is a joke. The minister was going to carry out all the punishments, in practice he does the opposite.”
1. You will be sentenced to 27 months in prison:
After nine months of detention (1/3 of 27 months), the sentencing judge can grant you conditional release.
After three months of detention (1/3 of 27 months – six months), the sentencing judge can grant you limited detention or electronic monitoring.
2. You will be sentenced to 27 months in prison and have already been in custody for three months before the trial:
After six months of detention (nine months of detention – three months of pre-trial detention), the sentencing judge can grant you conditional release.
You may immediately be eligible for limited detention or an electronic future (nine months – three months in pre-trial detention – six months “discount”.