The Justice Minister Koen Geens (Christian Democrats) wants all mentally ill prisoners out of regular prisons between now and 2019, he said in response to a parliamentary question. He is therefore planning to open a third penitentiary psychiatric centre (CPL), Het Laatste Nieuws revealed on Wednesday.
The Ghent CPL, which can hold 264 people, is almost full, and there will still be a lack of places after the Antwerp centre (182 spaces) opens. “The Antwerp building will open in 2016”, explains Koen Geens. “The aim of these centres is to provide adapted psychiatric treatment in a secure environment. They also work on reintegrating patients into the regular system. A third CPL and two long-stay institutions for people with psychiatric problems will open soon”.