Judges criticise ministry’s electronic tagging plans

The justice ministry is considering giving 1,600 convicted criminals an ankle monitoring bracelet instead of prison because of government spending cuts, current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported on Wednesday evening.

The ministry has to cut spending by €250m and the tagging plan is one of the options under consideration, the broadcaster said. The ministry is also considering closing 11 of the country’s 29 prisons, including all of them in Zeeland, Groningen and Drenthe.

The electronic tagging suggestion has been described by judges as ‘dangerous’ because it will lessen the pressure on people given a fine or community service. At the moment they face prison if they don’t pay or turn up but if this plan goes through they will be given an electronic tag instead.

People coming to the end of a long sentence would also be eligible for tagging for up to 18 months.

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven told the show he would present his master plan to cut spending at the end of the month.

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