Proposed amendment Custodial Institutions (Framework) Act to House of Representatives

The cabinet has agreed to a proposed amendment for the Custodial Institutions (Framework) Act to enable additional measures against serious organised crime from prison.

With the proposal Minister Weerwind for Legal Protection is enabling far-reaching restrictions in the communication with the outside world by a prisoner in the maximum-security institution (EBI) or intensive supervision wards (AIT).

The Minister can completely prohibit communication or contacts if there are very serious risks for the safety of society. In addition, visual supervision of the conversations between prisoners and their lawyer will be introduced. And a maximum of two lawyers with whom a prisoner can communicate confidentially is proposed. This is done to counteract criminal activity, but also for the safety of lawyers who are at risk of prisoners putting them under pressure.

Minister Weerwind:

“I stand for the Netherlands being a safe and fair country. That is why we have a targeted approach to that small group of criminals making the Netherlands – even from prison – a lot more unsafe. I also want to prevent prison staff becoming a target of criminals putting pressure on them to lift restrictions imposed on them.  This proposal is an important step in that.”

The amendment of the Custodial Institutions (Framework) Act is not a single action. It is part of a wider tackling of criminal actions continued in prison. In future there will be four criminal justice complexes (in Lelystad, Schiphol, Vlissingen and Vught) where prisoners who are an escape risk are detained as well as tried in a single secured environment. And finally, there will be a courtroom in the penal institution in Vught and a room where video trials may be held to reduce dangerous travel movements of prisoners who are an escape risk as much as possible.