Dutch Minister wants serious criminals in prison for longer


Criminals sentenced to prison for at least six years, may soon no longer automatically be eligible for release after serving two thirds of their sentence. Minister Sander Dekker of Legal Protection is submitting a legislative proposal to that effect on Tuesday, he said to newspaper AD.

"We want to increase the credibility of imposed sentences", he said to the newspaper. "If someone gets 18 years after a terrible crime, but is already out twelve years later, then that is difficult to explain."

Under the current law, prisoners can be conditionally released after serving two thirds of his or her prison sentence. The new bill limits the conditional release to a maximum of two years. This means that a prisoners sentenced to 12 years in prison will no longer be released after 8 years, but only after 10 years, for example. 

The current system of conditional release received fierce criticism after the murder of Anne Faber last year. The young Utrecht woman was raped and murdered by Michael P., who confessed to the crime. At the time of the murder, P. was staying in a psychiatric institution where he was being prepared for his return to society after serving two thirds of a 12 year prison sentence he received for raping two teenage girls in 2010.