Assistance and services to detainees

Dutch speaking chamber on June 21, 2022

In its evaluation of Flemish assistance and services to detainees, the Court of Audit established that their management and central support are not yet sufficiently strong. An individual assistance and service plan describing the detainee’s needs and requirements and coordinating all trajectories is still lacking. Prison supply is adapted to the specific prison context, but is sometimes hampered by (practical) obstacles, such as outdated infrastructure. Structural drug problem assistance during detention is lacking and there is a need for more cooperation with the Public Centres for Social Welfare (PCSWs) regarding prisoners release. Assistance and service trajectories are often interrupted, sometimes for personal reasons, but also because of structural obstacles, such as transfers to another prison and strikes. Within the Court of Audit’s audit set-up, it appears that the assistance and services examined do not lead to more employment after prisoners release or less renewed detention. However, more extensive quantitative follow-up research is needed.