Belgium: A group of 55 magistrates will experience life in prison
The magistrates will be treated like real detainees until the end of the operation scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.
Fifty-five volunteer magistrates were locked up on Saturday in a prison in the Brussels region to experience the lives of detainees, Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne said in a statement. The experience will end on Sunday.
The magistrates arrived at 7 a.m. in the new prison of Haren, a new establishment with a capacity of 1,190 prisoners which is due to open its doors on September 30, explained a spokeswoman for the prison administration. /p>
They will be treated as real detainees until the end of the operation scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m., she said.
Magistrates obviously know how things are in a prison, but experiencing it for themselves gives them a unique opportunity that can help them pass sentences with full knowledge of the facts, said Federal Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne, quoted in the press release.
The operation will also allow prison staff to prepare for the upcoming opening of this new type of establishment with small living units and developing a modern approach, added the Flemish official, member of the liberal Open Vld party.
The participating magistrates – criminal judges, investigating judges, prosecutors […] – volunteered. They […] will have to follow the orders and instructions of the prison staff. The goal is to make incarceration as realistic as possible, the statement adds.
Participants will experience the lives of real inmates. (archives)
They will not be able to use their mobile phones, but will be able to receive family visits, as is the case for real prisoners.
Magistrates follow the normal daily inmate schedule, eat the same meals and have the same mandatory activities. They will, among other things, be employed in the kitchen and laundry. At 10:00 p.m., the lights go out, the ministry said. magistrates have the option of interrupting the experience at any time.
This immersion offers magistrates sentencing people to prison the opportunity to x27; experience what deprivation of liberty means, explained Rudy Van de Voorde, Director General of Penitentiary Establishments.