Belgium

1) Judgements and, where applicable, probation decisions entering into the scope of this Framework Decision (Article 2)

a) Member States are asked to describe the judgments and, where applicable, probation decisions, as defined in Article 2, which have to be recognised by a Member State.

In this regard, Member States are asked to make a separated table for each judgement and each probation decision, entering into the scope of the Framework Decision and indicate for each one the following information.

probationary SUSPENDED SENTENCE

Name of the judgement or the probation decision

Le sursis probatoire / Probatieuitstel (probationary suspended sentence)

Classification of this judgement or the probation decision

Suspended sentence

Legal basis of this judgement or the probation decision

Law of 29 June 1964 concerning the conditional sentence, suspended sentence and probation.

Definition of this judgement or the probation decision

The 'sursis probatoire / Probatieuitstel' means that the judge pronounces a sentence (custodial sentence of maximum 5 years or working penalty, and/or fines) but that the execution of the whole or a part of this sentence, is suspended for a certain period, during which the person concerned must fulfil certain conditions.

The duration of the probationary period is decided by the judge and can run from 1 till 5 years from the date of the judicial decision.

Within this period, if the sentenced person commits new offences or violates the probation conditions, the sentence may be executed. At the end of a successful probationary period, the execution of the sentence can no longer be enforced.

Legal Conditions of this judgement or the probation decision

- The person concerned has not been earlier sentenced to a criminal sentence or a prison sentence of more than 12 months.

- The sentence pronounced by the judge is a working penalty or a custodial sentence which does not exceed 5 years.

- The duration of the probationary period is decided by the judge and can run from 1 till 5 years from the date of the judicial decision, but may not be longer than 3 years for minor offences (fines, working penalties and custodial sentences which not exceed 6 months).

- The consent of the sentenced person is required.

Type of probation measures

The Belgian law does not provide an exhaustive list of probation measures which can be imposed by the judge to the sentenced person. Therefore, it is at the sole discretion of the judge to determine any obligation deemed necessary, depending on the facts of the case submitted.

Examples of probation measures are:
- obligation to co-operate with the probation officer on compulsory assistance;
- obligation to receive budgeting assistance;
- instruction to undergo a detoxification program;
- instruction to undergo training schemes;
- obligation to compensate financially for the prejudice caused by the offence

Combination of sanctions or measures

The law does not provide for any possibility of combination with other judgements or decisions.

Authority responsible for taking such a decision

All judgement jurisdictions.

Authority responsible for supervising

The Probation Commission (administrative authority) follows up the observance of probation measures. This Commission is composed of a magistrate (chairman), a lawyer and a civil servant designated for a mandate of three years.

This authority is designated on the basis of the residence of the supervised person at the time the judicial decision is considered as a final decision.

When the sentenced person does not have his/her residence in Belgium, the Probation Commission is designated on the basis of the place of the jurisdiction where the sentence has been originally pronounced.

The probation measures are supervised by a probation officer under the authority of the Probation Commission. Probation officers are civil servants working for the Directorate general Houses of Justice of the Ministry of Justice and are responsible for assistance and guidance of persons under certain judicial decisions concerning probation measures and alternative sanctions.

In that regard, the probation officer offers assistance and guidance in ensuring compliance with the conditions imposed. The probation officer submits accordingly a social report to the Probation Commission. This social report includes a state of play of the execution of the probation measures and the eventual problems arisen.

The Probation Commission takes its decision on the basis of this social report. It can adapt probation measures to new circumstances, but cannot make them more severe. Only the court is entitled to do this.

Authority responsible in case of infringement

- The Probation Commissions (see the answer above for their composition)
- The Public Prosecutor Office
- The criminal jurisdiction of the residence of the sentenced person.

These authorities can legally revoke the 'sursis probatoire / Probatieuitstel' when the person infringes the probation terms or commits, during the probationary period, a new offence for which he is convicted to a criminal penalty or a custodial sentence without 'sursis / uitstel' that exceeds 6 months.

The Probation Commission reports to the Public Prosecutor Office on the violation of probation terms or commitment of a new offence. The Public Prosecutor Office summons the sentenced person before the criminal jurisdiction which can decide :

- the revocation of the 'sursis probatoire / Probatieuitstel' (and the execution of the custodial sentence or the working penalty);
- the continuation of the 'sursis / uitstel' with the same probation terms; or
- the continuation of the 'sursis / uitstel' with new probation terms.

WORKING PENALTY

Name of the judgement or the probation decision

La peine de travail / Werkstraf (working penalty)

Classification of this judgement or the probation decision

Alternative sanction

Legal basis of this judgement or the probation decision

Criminal Code (Article 37 ter, quater and quinquies)

Law of 17 April 2002 establishing the working penalty as autonomous punishment in minor criminal matters and police matters.

Definition of this judgement or the probation decision

The working penalty is a sentence pronounced by a judge when the offender has committed facts which could lead (in this concrete case) to a custodial sentence of maximum 5 years.The working penalty is pronounced as a main penalty instead of a custodial sentence and or a fine.

The judge has to foresee a custodial sentence or a fine which can be applicable in case of non-execution of the working penalty (subsidiary penalty).

Legal Conditions of this judgement or the probation decision

- The consent of the sentenced person is required.

- The working penalty may not be pronounced for certain offences such as hostage taking, rape, certain cases of indecent assault, sexual exploitation, minor prostitution, homicide and murder in order to facilitate a theft (Criminal code, Articles 347 bis, 375 to 377, 379 to 387, 393 to 397 and 475).

- The duration of the working penalty may not be less than 20 hours nor exceed 300 hours. As an exception, it can run up to 600 hours in case of recidivism.

- The working penalty must be executed within the twelve months following the date to which the judicial decision is considered as a final decision.

- The working penalty must be executed without payment outside the professional or educational activities of the sentenced person.

- The working penalty may only be executed in public services of the State, cities, provinces, communities and regions or for non-profit organisations.

Type of probation measures

Not applicable.

Combination of sanctions or measures

Yes, the judge can foresee a suspended sentence for the whole or a part of the execution of the working penalty with probation measures.

Authority responsible for taking such a decision

All judgement jurisdictions.

The judge determines the duration of the working penalty and can give some indications concerning the concrete content of this sentence.

Authority responsible for supervising

A Probation Commission (administrative authority) follows up the observance of probation measures. This Commission is composed of a magistrate (chairman), a lawyer and a civil servant designated for a mandate of three years.

This authority is designated on the basis of the residence of the supervised person at the time the judicial decision is considered as a final decision.

When the sentenced person does not have his/her residence in Belgium, the Probation Commission is designated on the basis of the place of the jurisdiction where the sentence has been originally pronounced.

After having heard the sentenced person and taken into account its observations, a probation officer determines the concrete content of the working penalty, under the supervision of the Probation Commission.

Probation officers are civil servants working for the Directorate general Houses of Justice of the Ministry of Justice and are responsible for assistance and guidance of persons under certain judicial decisions concerning probation measures and alternative sanctions.

In that regard, the probation officer offers assistant and guidance in ensuring compliance with the conditions imposed. The probation officer submits accordingly a social report to the Probation Commission. This social report includes a state of play of the execution of the working penalty and the eventual problems arisen.

The Probation Commission takes its decision on the basis of this social report. It can adapt and precise the concrete substance of the working penalty.

Authority responsible in case of infringement

The Probation Commission is also responsible in case of infringement (see the answer above for their composition).

In case of infringement (non or partial execution), the probation officer informs the Probation Commission, which summons the sentenced person. After this hearing, the Probation Commission writes a report on the possible application of the subsidiary penalty (the fine or the custodial sentence set out in the judicial decision).

On the basis of this report, the Public Prosecutor Office can decide to maintain the working penalty or to execute the subsidiary penalty (fine or custodial sentence), taking into account the part of the working penalty already carried out by the sentenced person.

CONDITIONAL RELEASE

Name of the judgement or the probation decision

- Libération provisoire / voorlopige invrijheidstelling (provisional release) - for sentences of which the enforceable part amounts to three years or less.

- Libération conditionnelle / voorwaardelijke invrijheidstelling (conditional release) - for custodial sentences of which the enforceable part amounts to more than three years.

Classification of this judgement or the probation decision

Conditional release

Legal basis of this judgement or the probation decision

Provisional release:

Ministerial circular no 1771 - provisional release, modified by the ministerial circulars no 1787 of 24 November 2006 and no 1794 of 7 February 2007
This legal text should be replaced by 1st September 2012 by the law of 17 May 2006 mentioned below.

Conditional release:

Law of 17 May 2006 concerning the external statute of persons convicted to a prison sentence and the rights accorded to victim in the frame of the modalities of sentences. (hereinafter "Law of 17 May 2006")

Definition of this judgement or the probation decision

Provisional and conditional releases are considered as a way of enforcing a custodial sentence which enables the sentenced person to serve its sentence outside the prison, depending on the respect of probation measures.

Legal Conditions of this judgement or the probation decision

Provisional release:

- Persons sentenced to one or more custodial sentences which enforceable part amounts up to six months are released immediately without any specific contraindications.
- Persons sentenced to one or more custodial sentences which enforceable part amounts to more than six months and up to one year are released as soon as they have served the prescribed part of the sentence without any specific contraindications.
- Persons sentenced to one or more custodial sentence which enforceable part amounts to more than one year and up to three years are eligible for a provisional release as soon as they reach the eligibility date and after examination of the contraindications. The contraindications are the following :
- Not being able to provide for oneself materially;
- Presenting a great risk for the integrity of third parties;
- Provisional release can also be applied to sentenced persons without lawful residence under similar conditions.

Exceptions for sexual delinquents (offences stated in Articles 372 and 386.3 of the Criminal Code, committed on Minors) :

- Persons sentenced to one or more custodial sentences which enforceable part amounts to more than six months and up to one year: The prison manager decides about provisional release and examines if there are any contraindications for granting this measure.
These contraindications are the following
- Not being able to provide for oneself materially (accommodation, means of support);
- Presenting a great risk for the integrity of third parties.

The provisional release is granted without imposing specific conditions on the convicted person. If desirable, the person involved can be directed to the normal support circuit. In exceptional cases, individual conditions can be imposed in order to reduce repetition of the offence.
- Persons sentenced to one or more custodial sentence which enforceable part amounts to more than one year and up to three years:

The prison manager submits a proposal for provisional release to the Detention Authority, which decides whether or not to grant this measure. If the provisional release is not conceded, grounds for refusal must be given.

Conditional release:

Conditional release is granted to each person sentenced to one or more custodial sentences which enforceable part amounts to more than three years, to the extent that the sentenced person:
- either, served one third of these sentences;
- or, when the judgment or decision of conviction establishes that the person is a recidivist, served two thirds of these sentences, without exceeding a period of fourteen years;
- or, in case of a life sentence, served ten years, or sixteen years when the conviction pronounced the same sentence and established a situation of recidivism.

Moreover, conditional release can only be granted to the extent that there are no contraindications with regard to the sentenced person. These contraindications are related to:
- the lack of prospects concerning the social rehabilitation of the sentenced person;
- the risk of new serious offences to be committed;
- the risk that the sentenced person would harass the victims;
- the behaviour of the sentenced person towards the victims.

Type of probation measures

The Belgian law does not provide for an exhaustive list of probation measures which can be imposed by the judge (conditional release), the prison manager or the department Detention Management (Ministry of Justice) to the sentenced person. Therefore, it is at the sole discretion of the judge to determine any obligation deemed necessary, depending on the facts of the case submitted.

A few examples are listed below:
- to maintain close contact with the probation officer and report any changes in their situation;
- ban on alcohol consumption;
- to follow a budgetary guidance.

Combination of sanctions or measures

The law does not provide for any possibility of combination with other judgements or decisions.

Authority responsible for taking such a decision

Provisional release :

In general, the prison manager is competent for granting a provisional release. Nevertheless, concerning persons without lawful residence or for sexual offenders, the Ministry of Justice (more specifically, the department Detention Management) is competent.

Conditional release:

The "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" is competent for :
- granting conditional release;
- the general follow-up;
- revocation, suspension, revision/review.

The "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" is composed by a Judge (chair) and two assessors, one specialised in custodial matters and one specialised in social reintegration. There is also a specialised public prosecutor.

The "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" linked to the court district of the prison in which the sentenced person was detained has jurisdiction over the general follow-up.

A probation officer from the court district in which the sentenced person resides is in charge of the daily follow-up of the sentenced person. He is in charge of the social guidance and supervision of the sentenced person with regard to their observance of the conditions. He informs the "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" thereof through regular reports.

Authority responsible for supervising

Provisional release:

The probation officer is in charge of the social guidance and supervision of the sentenced person with regard to their observance of the conditions. He informs the Ministry of Justice (more specifically, the department Detention Management) thereof through regular reports.

Conditional release:

The probation officer is in charge of the social guidance and supervision of the sentenced person with regard to their observance of the conditions. He informs the "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" thereof through regular reports.

Authority responsible in case of infringement

Provisional release:

The Department Detention Management is responsible regarding provisional release. In that regard, it can decide to revoke the provisional release for non-compliance with the conditions.

Conditional release:

The "Tribunal d'application des peines / Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank" is competent for revocation, suspension, revision/review.

CONDITIONAL SENTENCE

Name of the judgement or the probation decision

La suspension probatoire / Probatie-opschorting (probationary conditional sentence)

Classification of this judgement or the probation decision

Conditional sentence

Legal basis of this judgement or the probation decision

Law of 29 June 1964 concerning the conditional sentence, suspended sentence and probation.

Definition of this judgement or the probation decision

The "suspension probatoire / probatie-opschorting" means a judicial decision according to which the imposition of the sentence is suspended with the condition that the person complies with probation measures. This decision stops further proceedings unless it is revoked.

The duration of the probationary period is decided by the judge and can run from 1 to 5 years from the date of the judicial decision.

Legal Conditions of this judgement or the probation decision

- The consent of the person is required.
- The person concerned has not been earlier sentenced to a criminal sentence or a prison sentence of more than 12 months.
- The fact does not seem to lead to a sentence which does not exceed 5 years.
- The duration of the probationary period is decided by the judge and can run from 1 till 5 years from the date of the judicial decision, but may not be longer than 3 years for minor offences (fines, working penalties and custodial sentence sentences which not exceed 6 months).

Type of probation measures

The Belgian law does not provide for an exhaustive list of probation measures which can be imposed by the judge to the sentenced person. Therefore, it is at the sole discretion of the judge to determine any obligation deemed necessary, depending on the facts of the case submitted.

Examples of probation measures are:
- obligation to co-operate with the probation officer on compulsory assistance;
- obligation to receive budgeting assistance;
- instruction to undergo a detoxification program;
- instruction to undergo training schemes;
- obligation to compensate financially for the prejudice caused by the offence.

Combination of sanctions or measures

The law does not provide for any possibility of combination with other judgements or decisions.

Authority responsible for taking such a decision

All judgement jurisdictions except for the 'Cour d'assises'. This judgment jurisdiction is competent for offences which seem to lead to a prison sentence exceeding 5 years.

Authority responsible for supervising

The Probation Commission (administrative authority) follows up the observance of probation measures. This Commission is composed of a magistrate (chairman), a lawyer and a civil servant designated for a mandate of three years.

This authority is designated on the basis of the residence of the supervised person at the time the judicial decision is considered as a final decision.

When the sentenced person does not have his/her residence in Belgium, the Probation Commission is designated on the basis of the place of the jurisdiction where the sentence has been originally pronounced.

The probation measures are supervised by a probation officer under the authority of the Probation Commission. Probation officer are civil servants working for the Directorate general Houses of Justice of the Ministry of Justice and are responsible for assistance and guidance of persons under certain judicial decisions concerning probation measures and alternative sanctions.

In that regard, the probation officer offers assistance and guidance in ensuring compliance with the conditions imposed. The probation officer submits accordingly a social report to the Probation Commission. This social report includes a state of play of the execution of the probation measures and the eventual problems arisen.

The Probation Commission takes its decision on the basis of this social report. It can adapt probation measures to new circumstances, but cannot make them more severe. Only the court is entitled to do this.

Authority responsible in case of infringement

- The Probation Commissions (see the answer supra for their composition)
- The Public Prosecutor Office
- The criminal jurisdiction of the residence of the sentenced person.

These authorities can legally revoke the 'suspension probatoire' /'probatie-opschorting' when the person infringes the probation terms during the probationary period.

The Probation Commission reports to the Public Prosecutor Office on the violation of probation terms. The Public Prosecutor Office summons the sentenced person before the criminal jurisdiction which can decide :
- the revocation of the 'suspension probatoire' (and the imposition of the sentence);
- the continuation of the 'suspension' with new probation terms.

CONDITIONAL RELEASE UNDER THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PLACEMENT AT THE DISPOSAL OF THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE

Name of the judgement or the probation decision

Libération sous condition dans le cadre d'une mise á disposition du Gouvernement / Vrijlating onder voorwaarden in het kader van een terbeschikkingstelling van de Regering (conditional release under the framework of the placement at the disposal of the Minister of Justice)

Classification of this judgement or the probation decision

Conditional release

Legal basis of this judgement or the probation decision

Law of 1 July 1964 for the protection of the society against abnormal persons, habitual criminals and perpetrators of certain sexual criminal offences, Chapter VII.

This Decision should be replaced by 1st septembre 2012, in accordance with the law of 17 May 2006, by a conditional release under the framework of the placement at the disposal of the "Tribunal d'application des peines/Strafuitvoeringsrechtbank".

Definition of this judgement or the probation decision

The placement at the disposal of the Minister of Justice is a complementary sentence that in the cases determined by law must or can be pronounced in view of protecting the society against persons who commit certain serious offences which jeopardize the integrity of third Parties. This complementary sentence starts after the execution of the main prison sentence.

In that moment, the person is under the supervision of the Minister of Justice who can decide to release the person under certain probation measures or order its involuntary commitment.

Legal Conditions of this judgement or the probation decision

The judge is obliged to pronounce a placement at the disposal of the Minister of Justice for a period of 20 years in the specific case that a person commits again a crime after being convicted formerly for a crime (minimum sentence to be pronounced for crimes is 5 years).

The judge can decide that the person must stay at the disposal of the Minister of Justice in the following situation :
- a recidivist who has been sentenced to a prison sentence of maximum 5 years and a prison sentence exceeding 5 years and inversely.
- a person convicted for certain sexual offences such as rape, indecent assault or sexual exploitation against minor;
- a person who has been convicted three times to a sentence exceeding six months.

Type of probation measures

It is at the sole discretion of the Minister of Justice to determine any obligation deemed necessary, depending on the facts of the case submitted.

Examples of probation measures are:
- obligation to co-operate with the probation officer on compulsory assistance;
- obligation to receive budgeting assistance;
- instruction to undergo a detoxification program;
- instruction to undergo training schemes;
- obligation to compensate financially for the prejudice caused by the offence

Combination of sanctions or measures

The law does not provide for any possibility of combination with other judgements or decisions.

Authority responsible for taking such a decision

The placement at the disposal of the government can be imposed by all judgement jurisdictions.

The actual implementation of this measure is left to the Minister of Justice.

The Minister of Justice is responsible to decide, when the person is at the government disposal, to release the person under probation measures.

Authority responsible for supervising

The probation officer is in charge of the social guidance and supervision of the sentenced person with regard to their observance of the conditions. He informs the Ministry of Justice (more specifically, the department Detention Management) thereof through regular reports.

Authority responsible in case of infringement

The Minister of Justice.

2) Probation measures and alternative sanctions (Article 4)

In Article 4 of the Framework Decision types of probation measures and alternative sanctions are stated. Member States are asked to describe the probation measures and alternative sanctions attached to those judgements and probation decisions:

a) In the table below please describe how probation measures and alternative sanctions set out in Article 4.1 are reflected in your domestic law and please give a description of each of them.

Preliminary remark for all the probation measures mentioned in Article 4:

The Belgian law does not provide for an exhaustive list regarding the different obligations that can be imposed to the sentenced person. Therefore, it is at the sole discretion of the competent authority to determine any obligation deemed necessary, taking into account the need to prevent recidivism, the specific needs of the sentenced person and the interests of the victim.

Probation measures / alternative sanctions

Explanation

Obligation for the sentenced person to inform a specific authority of any change of residence or working place

This is a general measure which is provided for in the most judicial decision imposing probation measures. This obligation to inform of any change of residence or working place must be reported without any delay to the probation officer who is in charge of the daily follow-up of the sentenced person.

Obligation not to enter certain localities, places or defined areas in the issuing or executing State

The specific content of this obligation depends on the circumstances of each case, and could be in particular :

- obligation not to enter specific districts, cities, regions;

- obligation not to enter specific places where children or minors are present (playgrounds, swimming pools,...)

- obligation not to go to bars, dancings, etc.

The obligation is imposed by the judge but its concrete content is set up by the probation officer. As it regards a negative obligation, the Police is responsible for the control and the follow-up of this obligation.

Obligation containing limitations on leaving the territory of the executing State

This is also a negative obligation for which the police is competent to supervise (see supra).

Instructions relating to behaviour, residence, education and training, leisure activities, or containing limitations on or modalities of carrying out a professional activity

The judge can provide for any appropriate instructions relating to behaviour, residence, education and training, leisure activities and professional activity including a ban on practising particular activities (e.g. independent profession, employment in the catering industry, etc.).

Other examples are the obligation not to take drugs or alcohol, not to live in the same neighbourhood as the victim (in case of harassment) or to follow a training in violence handling (gender violence).

The usual wording of the obligation related to training, education or professional activity is frequently presented as following:

'Being employed or finishing an education/retraining programme and, when unemployed, actively searching for employment. Presenting proof of this to the probation officer.

A more specific interpretation of the condition concerning the nature of the employment and leisure activities is often not included. The probation officer and the sentenced person can agree upon a relevant filling in.

Obligation to report at specified times to a specific authority

This obligation consists in regular appointments with the probation officer and decided by him, who is responsible for the daily follow-up.

Obligation to avoid contact with specific persons

This probation measure is in general imposed in the interest of the victim, in particular in cases of harassment or gender violence (ban on contacting person X in any way, and taking the initiative to break contact immediately when meeting by coincidence).

However, it can also apply with a view to social rehabilitation (e.g. 'the interdiction to be in contact with former prisoners').

Obligation to avoid contact with specific objects, which have been used or are likely to be used by the sentenced person with a view to committing a criminal offence

The sentenced person may be obliged to avoid contact with specific objects such as alcohol, drugs or specific medicines (e.g. captagon).

Obligation to compensate financially for the prejudice caused by the offence and/or an obligation to provide proof of compliance with such an obligation

This obligation can be expressed as "paying the civil parties according to a predetermined plan and giving proof of this to the probation officer".



Obligation to carry out community service

Not applicable.

Obligation to cooperate with a probation officer or with a representative of a social service having responsibilities in respect of sentenced persons

This is 'maintaining close contact with the probation officer, following their guidelines and agreements, and cooperating with the provided social guidance.'

Obligation to undergo therapeutic treatment or treatment for addiction

- A condition to get counselling or treatment within the framework of voluntary aid can be imposed. This form of aid depends on the nature of the underlying problems (addiction problems, financial problems, aggression issues).
The usual wording of the obligation is the following :
'To get treatment for alcohol problems in an appropriate setting according to the advice of the treating team (ambulatory or residential) and not to stop this treatment without a positive advice of the institution'.

- In Belgium, a number of specific treatment and training projects exists. Within the scope of the training project, the framework is defined clearly and a limited number of hours need to be achieved.

A number of specific programmes have been developed for domestic violence, sexual offences and drug related facts.

Below you will find a short overview of these treatment and training projects.

Issue/offer

Name

Max number of hours

Agression

Social skills

Social defensibility

Center for lifeforming/

Center for basic education

30 hours

Drugs issues

Specific centres for drug addiction

Tailored to the needs

Road traffic offences

BIVV (Belgium Institute for Road Safety)

20 hours

Sexual offences

Learning project for sexual offenders

30 hours

Lack of victim empathy

Victims in view

30 hours

Straightening out a tangle of issues/providing insight into/motivational/behavioural alternatives

Offenders In-Sight

30 hours

b) In your domestic law are there any probation measures and alternative sanctions which are not covered by Article 4.1?

Yes. However, as there exists no exhaustive list, it will depend on each specific case if the judge will pronounce a probation measures that is not provided for in Article 4.1.

c) Does your domestic law provide for a specific treatment regarding any category of offences (e.g. sexual offences, domestic violence)?

Within the framework of projects granted by the federal and regional governments, a number of specific programmes have been developed for, among others, domestic violence, sexual offences and drug related facts.

These projects can be applied in the context of a probation measure. Please find below a short overview of these projects:

Issue/offer

Name

Max number of hours

Agression

Social skills

Social defensibility

Center for lifeforming/

Center for basic education

30 hours

Drugs issues

Specific centres for drug addiction

Tailored to the needs

Road traffic offences

BIVV (Belgium Institute for Road Safety)

20 hours

Sexual offences

Learning project for sexual offenders

30 hours

Lack of victim empathy

Victims in view

30 hours

Straightening out a tangle of issues/providing insight into/motivational/behavioural alternatives

Offenders In-Sight

30 hours

3) Electronic monitoring

Does your national law provide for the possibility to use Electronic Monitoring?

Yes.

Is Electronic Monitoring part of the classification provided for in Article 2 of this Framework Decision (suspended sentence, conditional sentence, conditional release or alternative sanction)?

No.

Is Electronic Monitoring considered as an execution modality of imprisonment, if other than conditional release?

Yes. In Belgium, the electronic monitoring is a form of execution of the prison sentence whereby use is made of electronic means to control during a fixed term the presence of severely selected offenders, outside the prison and on previously agreed places and times. Therefore it cannot be imposed as a probation measure or an alternative sanction.

Is Electronic Monitoring considered a way of applying a probation measure or as a probation measure in itself?

No.

What are the technical means provided for in your Member State that enables the use of the Electronic Monitoring (e.g. GPS)?

The electronic monitoring is used in Belgium through the "Radio Frequency (RF)" technical mean. The person under electronic monitoring is monitored by NCET (National Centre for Electronic Monitoring). This Centre is in charge of the daily management of all incoming and outgoing movements of persons under electronic monitoring.

Via the anklet that he is always obliged to wear, an alarm will be raised when he does not respect predetermined schedule. In these cases, the NCET informs immediately the probation officer designated for the daily follow-up of the sentenced person of any violation.

Is Electronic Monitoring dependant on particular conditions?

In Belgium, there are two legal basis for electronic monitoring depending on the length of the sentence:
- Electronic monitoring in case of a custodial sentence whose enforceable part amounts to more than three years: Law of 17 May 2006 concerning the external statute of persons convicted to a prison sentence and the rights accorded to victim in the frame of the modalities of sentences.
- Electronic monitoring in case of a custodial sentence whose enforceable part amounts to three years or less: the ministerial circular nr. 1803 (III) of 25 July 2008. This legal text should be replaced by 1st September 2012 by the law of 17 May 2006.

Regarding custodial sentences which enforceable part amounts to three years or less, specific conditions apply:
- The sentenced person must have a permanent residence in Belgium;
- The consent of any adult housemates is required. If the sentenced person resides in an institution, the consent of the manager of the institution is necessary;
- The sentenced person must follow a daily constructive occupation fixed, according to, in particular, the professional and educative reinsertion or the family situation, by the prison manager.

Moreover, the electronic monitoring can only be granted to the extent that there are no contraindications with regard to the sentenced person. These contraindications are related to:
- Familial situation ;
- Residence place and environment ;
- Nature of the facts committed ;
- Presenting a great risk for the integrity of third Parties;
- Risk to commit new offences ;
- The sentenced person behaviour towards the victims;
- Risk not to execute the sentence.

With regard to electronic monitoring for custodial sentences of which the enforceable part amounts to more than three years, the following specific conditions apply:
- The sentenced person is eligible to apply at least 6 months prior to their conditional release eligibility date.
- The electronic monitoring can apply only following a written request of the sentenced person. In that regard, four months before this time condition, the prison manager informs the sentenced person in writing about the possibility to request for an electronic monitoring.

Moreover, electronic monitoring can only be granted to the extent that there are no contraindications with regard to the sentenced person. These contraindications are related to:
- The lack of prospects concerning the social rehabilitation of the sentenced person. This is examined on the basis of a social rehabilitation plan;
- The risk for the integrity of third Parties;
- The risk that the sentenced person would harass the victims;
- The sentenced person behaviour towards the victims.

The electronic monitoring is always subject to the following general probation measures:
- Obligation not to commit new offences;
- Obligation to have a permanent residence in Belgium and to inform immediately the probation officer of any change of residence;
- Obligation to attend regular appointments with the probation officer;
- Obligation to respect a daily constructive occupation;
- Obligation to comply with the actual plan of electronic monitoring concerning the schedule and standard instructions agreed upon with the probation officer.
- Obligation to respect any other possible probation measure.

4) Formalities

Member States are invited to sum up the documents that the national competent authorities need in order to take at national level a judgement and, where applicable, a probation decision (e.g. criminal record, social inquiries, medical expertise).

In order to take a decision concerning probation measures and alternative sanctions, the judge can ask for a pre -sentence reporting to the probation officer. In Belgium two types of pre-sentencing reporting are possible:
- a summary information report: in this report the probation officer answers to a specific question from the judicial authority, e.g. a specific question on the feasibility of a probation measure that he wants to impose in the frame of a probationary suspended sentence.
- a social inquiry: in order to make this report the probation officer will discuss the offence with the offender in order to place the event in a large psycho-social context.

The basic information that contains every file that is communicated to the probation officers is: the judgement, a summary of the facts and the criminal record.

Other documents that are in general present in the judicial file are: the proces-verbal dressed up by the police officers, criminal record of the offender, medical expertises etc.

For the follow-up and the guidance of the probation measures and the alternative sanctions done by the probation officers, the basic information that they receive is: the judgement, a summary of the facts, the criminal record and if present in the file, other relevant documents such as social inquiries, a summary information report, medical expertises etc.

 

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