Not having a tangible reintegration policy is a problem, the Itter Prison Supervisory Committee said in its 2018 report presented to the new Central Council of Prison Supervision. La Libre Belgique and DH related this report on Thursday.
In 2018, the Commission registered 405 complaints, met 510 prisoners, spent 383 hours visiting the prison and met four times with prison management.
“The main element that stands out in all of the issues is the lack of genuine political reintegration,” the report concluded. “Incarceration is primarily centred on penalty-punishment with a corollary obsession with security.”
The commission denounced the issue of prison labour in the prison of Itter – which can be generalized to other penitentiaries. The job offer falls very short of demand. Currently, 43.8% of inmates have a job in Itter (the Belgian average is 40%). “Wages” range between 2.10 euros and 2.40 euros per hour. It is more of a compensation for an activity than actual employment, the report insisted.
Mental health is another issue of importance in Itter (and in most prisons). Serious psychiatric pathologies are numerous, such as severe depression, suicidal states, decompensation, poly-consumption, etc. Care focuses on the most urgent cases at the expense of less acute patients who should have nevertheless comprehensive and regular observing.