Prison staff slam prison spending cut plans as bad for public safety

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven’s prison spending cuts are under fire again, this time from prison workers.

They think the plans will be bad for inmates, public safety and for the workforce.

Teeven plans to cut €340m from the prison budget. Plans include the closure of a number of prisons and increasing cell sharing, and the use of electronic tagging.

Electronic tagging is a particular worry for prison workers, according to the survey carried out by the socialist party SP amongst 2,700 staff – just over a quarter of the workforce.

Having convicted criminals sitting at home with an ankle band is difficult to explain to victims, say those questioned. They are also worried that without proper supervision, repeat offences will become more common

Over half those questioned are also concerned about cuts in supervision and activities in prisons which can have negative consequences for safety regimes.

Last week, legal experts criticised the spending cuts, following negative comments from the council for the judiciary, the Dutch bar association and the unions.

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