05-04-09

Repatriation of Belgian prisoners serving their sentence in UK


gevangenen.kap.180px-Calico_hoodTo Werkgroep Morkhoven

April 2th, 2009

Dear Sir/ Madam

Concerns: repatriation of Belgian prisoners serving their sentence in UK

I wondered if you might assist me in finding out more information about the legislative conditions in Belgium for one of their nationals to be returned to his home country.

I practice Prison Law in UK and very often I come in to contact with Belgian nationals.
The Belgians do not like the British judicial system. This is due to the fact that it is completely different to the Belgian system and because the sentences imposed are so much longer. They would prefer to serve their time in Belgium and I feel there must be more direct ways in which I can help them to achieve that.
It appears that whatever sentence they get in UK, it is harder for the Belgians as they are no in a position to get as many visits from family members as the Brits. In my mind, this punishes the family as much as the prisoner, if not more as they are left to take care of everything at home.

I have tried to get information from various sources in UK and Belgium in connection with this but to no avail.
I need to know what happens to them once they get back to Belgium, what the legislation is in connection with the term they have to serve etc.
I shall not make this letter too long as it may waste your time and if it does then I apologise sincerely for the intrusion.
The Belgians do get a rough deal in prisons in UK when compared to the Dutch nationals. The Belgian Embassy only send a representative once per year where as the Dutch visit on a monthly basis.
It takes me about 6 months to arrange the repatriation of a Dutch national back to Holland. So far I have NOT succeeded in assisting with the repatriation of a Belgian and I wonder why this is and what exactly makes it so difficult.

I await your kind reply and remain,

Yours sincerely

Augusta Pearson

PS If you can't help me and know of an organisation or person who can, would you please be kind enough to forward those details.

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