Vlaams Belang wants to send all non-Belgian convicts to prison in their home country
Far-right party Vlaams Belang has called for all non-Belgian convicts to be jailed in their own country. "As a rule, our country should send every person who is sentenced to jail here but who does not have Belgian nationality to their home country's prison system," party leader Tom Van Grieken said after visiting Antwerp prison on Friday.
The opposition party sees the proposal as a way to tackle prison overcrowding. More than 40 per cent of the prison population is non-Belgian. "Even more striking is the fact that three-quarters of them are in the country illegally and should, therefore, actually be deported," says Van Grieken. "A country that does not fulfil its duty should no longer receive a penny of development aid, and we must put it under permanent pressure."
He also suggested a prison boat for inmates awaiting deportation.
According to Vlaams Belang, the shortage of prison wardens is another urgent matter. "The status of prison guards must be made more attractive," he said. "They deserve better pay." He called for more appropriate help for detainees with psychiatric problems.
© BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM