MPs want lifetime probation for violent offenders

Fred Teeven
State Secretary Fred Teeven. (Fred Teeven)

Hard criminals in The Netherlands should receive lifelong trial release from prison even if the judge has not laid down a probationary period, according to a majority in Parliament. MPs propose a plan to allow probation officers to keep supervising these criminals throughout their lives outside prison, the Algemeen Dagblad reports.

The current ruling allows a judge to extend probation once, for up to two years after the prison term has been fulfilled.

A majority in Parliament, including State Secretary Fred Teeven, VVD, PvdA and PVV support the plan, which is an initiative from the CDA. The plan stipulates that the judge can prolong a hard criminal's probationary period every two years, for the rest of that individual's life if needed.

This ruling would apply to sex offenders and those who have committed violent crimes, especially if there is a threat of recidivism. Whoever violates their probation will have to return to prison.

"It is a radical measure, but then we are talking about the most dangerous people", says CDA MP Madeleine van Toorenburg. The MP emphasizes that the measure will only be imposed if there is a serious risk to society.

"This gives the possibility to correct people even when they have been released. That is a good idea", State Secretary Fred Teeven tells the AD. Teeven has a similar proposal, which Parliament will discuss tomorrow, concerning life-long supervision, but this may only be imposed before the judge passes his sentence. This CDA proposal allows the judge to do so after the prison sentence has been served.