The staff of the prison of Wortel, a sub-municipality of the Antwerp Hoogstraten, will stop working for 48 hours from today/Monday. The reason for the strike is a revolt by detainees, whom the guards only narrowly managed to avoid.
On August 22, a detainee is said to have made death threats against a staff member who refused to deviate from the house rules. There was a commotion among several inmates. Calm returned when four rioters were placed in secure cells, according to the socialist trade union.
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According to ACOD Justice, a strike notice and an initial consultation with the regional directorate did not lead to short-term solutions to persistent problems such as “overcrowding, the throwing of prohibited material and above all, a general feeling that inmates feel untouchable because of too weak a response to unacceptable behavior within prison walls”.
With the strike, the staff of the prison in Wortel are asking for structural solutions to the overcrowding and impunity that would plague the facility. They also want to express their condolences to colleagues who are experiencing physical and mental consequences of the aggression in prison.