Violence, acts of protest, prison conditions, justice reforms: find out what is new about prisons and justice in this country. Prison Insider monitors the press on a regular basis.
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06/07/2021. No more prison sentences for minor offences, announces justice minister
With the new penal code expected to come into force in 2022, Belgian judges will no longer be able to impose imprisonment on those committing the lightest offences. The category of offences which will no longer carry a prison sentence includes minor forms of vandalism, such as graffiti, or certain traffic offences where there are no victims. Violations of the health rules put in place to fight against the coronavirus will also no longer lead to imprisonment, says the minister. — The Bulletin
25/06/2021. Parliament approves new rules for short-term prison sentences
The federal parliament yesterday gave its approval to a proposal aimed making it easier for people sentenced to a short term in prison to request alternative types of supervision. At present, the law says that a person sentenced to less than three years can only request an alternative such as house arrest, night-only detention (for those with jobs) or an electronic ankle-bracelet after they have served one-third of their sentence. In practice, however, those with sentences of under three years rarely even see the inside of a prison, mainly for reasons of over-crowding. But those who request an alternative still have to go inside to make the request. The new bill would make it possible to make the request while at liberty, which would go some way to easing the pressure on prisons. However some offences will be excluded from the new procedure, depending on the gravity of the offence. — The Brussels Times