A detainee escaped from the Dinant Prison between Thursday night and Friday morning in what the penitentiary administration confirmed as the first jailbreak for the year in Belgium. The man’s escape, with the help of a bedsheet, does not appear to be linked with the current discontent in Belgian prisons: “100% of the staff were present in the prison last night and 80% this morning,” a penitentiary administration’s spokesman said.
The number of jailbreaks in the country has diminished considerably in recent years. In 2009, some 39 persons escaped from jail. That number went down to 14 by 2012, a trend that has continued since then, with 5 prisoners escaping in 2014, one in 2015 and none in 2016. Figures for 2017 are not yet available.
The reduction is the result of reinforced security procedures. There is greater monitoring of cell phones, specialized dogs are used in drug searches, and new walk-through metal detectors have been installed, the penitentiary administration had stressed in its 2013 annual report.
A management and monitoring system has also been established to identify prisoners with risk profiles, based on a number of criteria.