Cells in Jamioulx and Hasselt prisons have been equipped with telephones since the weekend. The aim is to introduce the same thing in all Belgian prisons by the autumn, according to Wednesday editions of Mediahuis newspapers. Prisoners will thus be able to make calls from their cells at the preferential rate of 11 cents a minute.
According to the Minister of Justice Koen Geens (CD&V: Christian democratic Flemish political party in Belgium), this novelty provides a more secure environment to prison staff.
The prisoner benefits both from the extra freedom and being able to make a phone call when he wants, with as a bonus less frustration and more opportunities for reintegration into society, he emphasised.
Numbers dialled by prisoners are recorded and may still be blocked by the administration.