Flemish government launches ankle monitor pilot project for young offenders

Juvenile judges will soon be able to impose an ankle monitor on young offenders. This has been decided by the Flemish government. It concerns a pilot project of one year. In case of a positive evaluation, the system will be gradually rolled out across Flanders.

Currently, there are few ways to monitor young offenders' compliance with conditions imposed on them by the juvenile court, such as going to therapy or avoiding certain locations. Social workers thus lack crucial information that would enable them to intervene in times when things are likely to take a turn for the worse. 

By introducing the ankle monitor, the Flemish government hopes to change that. The project will be tested by the Antwerp Juvenile Court. Juvenile judges there will soon be able to impose electronic monitoring for at least three and up to six months on young offenders aged between 12 and 18. It will not be possible for young people suspected of manslaughter, murder or intrafamily violence, nor for teenage pimps or key figures in drug trafficking.

The government stresses that the ankle monitor will not replace counselling. The electronic monitoring will be accompanied by intensive tailor-made counselling for the young offenders and their parents. If the project has a positive evaluation in a year's time, a step-by-step roll-out across the other Flemish judicial districts will follow. A budget of 1.2 million euros is planned for the pilot project.


#FlandersNewsService | An ankle monitor ​ © BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM


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