Belgium allows crime victims to make request to get information of convict release

Belgium: Soon, victims of crimes will have the option to ask to be automatically notified when a felon is given a jailbreak or is freed from custody completely. The services of the jail will always get in touch with victims of significant and violent crimes.

Until recently, clerks would inform victims while a prisoner was serving their term, but the specific procedure used differed across judicial districts and wasn’t standardized. As per the press statement from the minister of justice, “victims will henceforth consistently be notified of their rights throughout the execution of a punishment.”

On September 1st, these additional fees will take effect. After that, civil parties to the case will get a letter outlining their access to the information after the court has handed down a sentence.

How they can use their rights, such as asking to be notified about petitions for early release or permission to leave jail, will be included in a “victim’s file.” Victims will also be allowed to ask to see the release terms, such as contact restrictions.

Following suggestions accepted by the French-speaking Minister Valérie Glatigny, this revised victim’s file will be easier to understand and will use simpler language.

Documents pertaining to criminal proceedings are being streamlined and digitalized in Belgium. The Belgian government recently unveiled the JustConsult platform, which will provide victims of crimes better access to their case data.

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