Nearly two-thirds of detainees go to full sentence and do not benefit from parole, RTBF announced on Saturday in its mid-day newscast. The situation has radically changed in 10 years, according to Annie Devos, general administrator of the houses of justice in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. “About ten years ago, we had about 60% of inmates who could be released on parole, that number has dropped to 28%.”
In 2019, 745 prisoners thus remained in prison until the end of their sentence. In 2007, they were half as many.
During this period, a tightening of the legislation was noted. “The Sentencing Courts (TAP) have been in existence since 2007 and we have seen a drop in parole releases after they were put in place. There were then major legal changes following important various events. For example. , since 2013, it is the detainee himself who must make the request. Before, there was a systematic review of his situation. In 2019, new legislation tightened the eligibility conditions. The level of requirement is increasing . When all the conditions are met, we are in general extremely far in the trouble “, she observes.
According to Ms. Devos, this situation is not without danger. “There is no guidance, these people (who arrive at the bottom of their sentence), as soon as they get out of prison, find themselves on the street. If parole is granted, there is support. There is a work of help and control which is carried out with the assistants of justice. This can be supportive for people and offers guarantees in terms of public safety. “
“There are many urban legends including the one which claims that in Belgium there is an automation of parole”, she concludes.