Prisoners to no longer qualify for automatic release at two thirds of sentence

A prison corridor
A prison corridor

Prisoners who have been sentenced to more than six years in jail will no longer be automatically released on completion of two thirds of their sentence, according to a new draft law drawn up by justice minister Sander Dekker.

The bill was presented to the public prosecutor’s office and the Council for the Judiciary, which monitors the legal system, on Tuesday.

Instead each case will be judged on its merits, taking into account prisoners’ behaviour, and no-one will be released early more than two years before the end of their sentence, the draft legislation states.

‘Those with longer sentences do not necessarily need more time to reintegrate into society,’ the minister said. ‘A period of two years should be enough for everybody.’

The proposal is meant as a gesture towards the victims of serious crimes. ‘People who are given long sentences have committed serious crimes and it is difficult to justify to the victims that the perpetrators of those crimes are released after completing only two thirds of the sentence,’ Dekker said.

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