Electronic tagging plan under fire again

Junior justice minister Fred Teeven’s plan to use electronic tagging to help cut the prison service budget has come under fire from the government’s highest advisory body, the Raad van State.

The Raad van State is ‘extremely critical’ of the plan, sources in The Hague confirmed to the Telegraaf.

The plan is badly structured, possibly dangerous and will probably not save the amount of money expected, the sources said.

This is not the first time Teeven has been under fire for his prison spending cuts. As well as electronic tagging, he plans to close a number of prisons and increase cell sharing in order to cut €340m from the budget.

Public safety

Legal experts and prison staff, the Dutch bar association, the council for the judiciary and the unions have already said the cuts are bad for public safety.

Electronic tagging is a particular worry because having criminals sitting at home with an ankle band is difficult to explain to victims.

The earlier criticism led Teeven to adjust his plans. He wants prisoners who make an effort to prepare for a new life after their sentence to be ‘promoted’ to more freedom. Prisoners who misbehave will be ‘demoted’. The electronic tag would be part of this system.


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