The cabinet wants to further restrict communication between detainees and the outside world. Minister Franc Weerwind for Legal Protection is sending a bill to the House of Representatives to enable additional measures against serious organized crime from detention.
With the proposal, the minister can completely ban communication options or contacts of detainees in the Extra Secure Institution (EBI) in Vught or in the Intensive Supervision Departments (AIT) in other prisons if there are very serious risks to the safety of society.
In addition, visual monitoring of conversations between a prisoner and a lawyer is introduced. Furthermore, the bill specifies a maximum of two lawyers with whom a detainee can communicate confidentially. According to Weerwind, this is not only done to prevent criminal activity, but also for the safety of lawyers who are at risk of being put under pressure by detainees.
Minister Weerwind: ‘I stand for a safe and just Netherlands. We therefore specifically tackle those small group of criminals who make the Netherlands a lot less safe, even from detention. In addition, I want to prevent prison staff from becoming a target of criminals who exert pressure to lift imposed restrictions. This proposal is an important step in that direction.’
Four judicial complexes
The bill is part of the broader approach against continued criminal activity from prison. For example, in the future the Netherlands will have a total of four judicial complexes (in Lelystad, Schiphol, Vlissingen and Vught) where detainees at risk of flight are detained and tried in one safe environment. There will also be a courtroom in the PI Vught and a room where video trials can take place in order to ‘reduce as much as possible the dangerous travel movements of detainees who are at risk of flight’.