The Free Public Service Union (SLFP) proposed on Sunday that inmates should be allowed to carry out civil tasks outside prisons. “There is huge frustration inside prisons as too many people share small spaces (…) Inmates don’t become better, on the contrary,” says Vincent Houssin, vice president of the Flemish part of the labour union.
In addition to the tasks within the prison itself or contract work for companies, the union wants to allow inmates to carry out supervised citizen works such as tending to parks.
The measure would allow inmates to do something useful, reduce the pressure in prison and prepare them for their return to society.
Conditions are nevertheless necessary for such a system, which would be carried out on a voluntary basis. Potentially dangerous prisoners would not be eligible.