Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 13:57
Paying for incarceration hurts more than it helps: Opposition parties
A plan to introduce fees collectible from the incarcerated parents of minor offenders and forensic psychiatry patients has received little support from the majority of Dutch opposition parties. The initiative to collect 16 euros up to a period of two consecutive years is currently backed by the ruling coalition and the PVV, reports Trouw. The main concern around the bill is how to fund the fee that is payable upon release from incarceration. Once imprisoned, individuals stop receiving state benefits. Salaries received for work during the term are very low, nearly excluding the possibility of accumulating savings over the incarceration period. The opposition is therefore concerned that the accrued debt at the end of the term would prompt the released to engage in criminal activity upon walking free. Coalition parties stipulate collections from the prisoners. They would also like to obtain money from the perpetrators to cover the costs of investigating, persecuting and judging. Some of that money, according to them, should be devoted to victim care. In the current coalition agreement, the indicated fee is 12.50 euros collectible over the period of half a year. The increase in the amount and duration is proposed by Fred Teeven, an MP for the VVD and a former secretary for security and justice.