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    Prisons cheaper to build via public sector than private sector

    Building and managing prisons is cheaper via the public sector than via the private sector, according to the Accounts court. A critical report written by the court was published in the Het Nieuwsblad, De Standaard and Het Belang van Limburg on Saturday. 

    Buildings constructed via the private sector are better equipped and the establishments provide a better service, but the cost is much higher. For example, Hasselt prison costs 133,000 euros per prisoner while Beveren prison costs 312,000 euros per prisoner. 

    The Interbuild-BAM consortium developed, constructed and now manages Beveren, Leuze-en-Hainaut and Marche prisons. Public authorities reimburse them every year (as much as 39 million euros in 2017). Public authorities will only become the owners after 25 years. 

    After reading the report, federal MP Stefaan Van Hecke (Greens) thinks public authorities should take back control. “The figures show that choosing the private sector is now costing us dearly”. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times