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    Situation normalised at Saint-Gilles prison

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The CGSP (General Center for Public Services) considers that the agreement concluded on Thursday to relieve the prison of Saint-Gilles has been respected, said Laurent Lardinois, delegate for the socialist union, on Wednesday. The latter plans to reduce the number of detainees from 900 to 850. The prison population is currently 860 prisoners and about ten transfers are still planned during the day according to the prison administration.

    As a reminder, the CGSP filed a notice of strike on 31 March, denouncing prison overcrowding. It was ended last Thursday, following a meeting between the union and the prison administration. The agreement came as a response to the trade union demands to return to the number of 850 detainees. If the situation had not developed positively, mayor Charles Picqué had argued his intention to make a decree to close the prison. This would have allowed the police to prevent the entry of any new inmates.

    “The detailed plan that the administration provided us on Thursday has been followed to the letter”, said Laurent Lardinois. “The administration has pledged to remain at around 850 inmates in the future, but the prison of Saint-Gilles is a prison, and this number could sometimes be exceeded with the simultaneous arrival of new prisoners. In such cases, the administration is committed to bringing the prison population back down as quickly as possible, and we must work towards this limit of 850 and the administration is committed to respecting it.”

    The prison of Saint-Gilles has a normal capacity of about 600 prisoners.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times