Teeven Finds Money

no image
No image availableNL Times

By largely dropping the plan to use electronic anklets as a substitute for imprisonment, State Secretary Fred Teeven (Security and Justice) took the sting out of the debate on the cuts of 340 million for the prison system. He also was able to provide the money ‘out of the bag’,  to pay for the adjustments of the plan.

After a difficult time (he received, among other criticism, a motion of no confidence because of the death of a Russian asylum seeker in detention) life smiled to him on Thursday again. Despite all the criticism of his master plan, the most parts remain unchanged. He will present a modified plan after two weeks.  "The plan is improving," he concluded satisfied.

Central issue during the debate was the electronic anklet. Not only the opposition but also the coalition partners, VVD and PvdA, turned against it. In fact, also the State Secretary himself was not really in favor of the anklet. “I was never enthusiastic about the anklet', he said in the break of the debate. “But yes, I had to find money.”

During the debate he acknowledged that, the anklet for electronic detention as a replacement for imprisonment, there is a lack of  political support. Such an anklet may be applied, only at the end of a punishment suggested PvdA and VVD, when the detainee is slowly put back into the society.

Dropping the concept of the anklet earned him a financial gap of 69 million, and that money he had to find in his in own house. He managed that, by giving no longer any price compensation for purchases of his own Ministry nor its affiliated services.

Less prisons closed

It all means that less prisons will be closed than the originally planned 26 prisons. This is because more people have to stay in jail. Teeven did not say which locations remain open. On top of that, there will therefore also be fewer people who lose their job. Originally the plan spoke of 3700 people who would become unemployed.

The PvdA and VVD were satisfied, but the opposition remained not satisfied. They saw a play of the coalition parties with Teeven, so at the end of the debate every party had its own interpretation.

The whole opposition submitted nevertheless, still manfully, a motion to withdraw the original plan. “It had become a word game,” said Teeven, “a modified plan, a reassessed plan, a renewed plan.” Teeven himself sees it as a reassessed plan that on some parts is new.