Back to the drawing board with electronic tagging plan

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven is to look again at his plans to cut €340m from the prison budget, after MPs said they would not accept an increase in electronic tagging.

Teeven’s own party, the right-wing VVD, sided with the opposition to call for a rethink. The plan has already been criticised by prison officials, judges and unions, who say it may end up costing more than it saves. 

The minister wants to close 26 of the country’s prisons, boost the number of prisoners who share a cell and increase the amount of electronic tagging.

No benefits

MPs said during Thursday’s debate the plan is poorly thought-out, will endanger public safety and will not benefit prisoners.

‘Judges, legal experts, the probation service, academics and lawyers have all levelled an enormous amount of criticism at the plans,’ Socialist MP Nine Kooiman said.

There was considerable support from some MPs for calls to cut costs by making prisoners do more jobs in prison, such as cooking and cleaning.

The revised plans will be presented to parliament before the summer break, RTL news reported.

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