There were 59 deaths in Belgian prisons in 2014, 18 of which were suicides, the Sudpresse papers said on Thursday. That’s a slight increase compared to 2013, when there were 56 deaths (14 were suicides). Bruges prison, which is the biggest in the country, has had the most deaths with 12, including 4 suicides. Gaëtan de Dorlodot, the medical director at St Gilles prison, is worried about “the lack of policies to prevent these suicides in Belgium”.
He says that 60% of suicides in prison happen within the first four days of incarceration. The stress of being convicted, reflection on the crime committed, fear in a person who considers themselves innocent or someone facing professional or social isolation explain a lot of these suicides.