On the 11th of August, there were 10,289 prisoners in Belgium. That’s 1,200 less than in 2014 and the lowest number since 2010, La Dernière Heure, De Morgen, and Het Laatste Nieuws reported on Saturday.
In 2013, there were still 134 prisoners for 100 available spaces in Belgium’s prisons.
Last May’s agreement between Justice Minister Koen Geens and penitentiary officers aims to reduce the number of prisoners to below 10,000, and for that to last. The agreement was reached after a strike that lasted several weeks.
The Minister’s spokesman did say that there are fewer prisoners in summer as tribunals are not running at full capacity, and there is less crime. But the number has dropped dramatically compared to the same period in previous years. There were 10,981 prisoners in Belgium on the 11th of August 2015, compared to 11,473 on the 11th of August 2014. That’s 1,200 fewer prisoners in 2 years.
“There is still a lot of work to do, but we are clearly on the right track”, the Unions say.