LDH Report Looks at How to Improve Links Between Prisoners and their Loved Ones

As most people were spending Christmas and New Year’s with their families, people in prison were not so lucky. Incarceration impacts not just prisoners but their loved ones as well.

Making sure prisoners stay connected with their families is key for their rehabilitation, and is particularly significant when it comes to children and their psychological and personal development. However, to maintain these connections families have to clear a number of hurdles during prison visits, including imposed timetables, travel costs and reception conditions.

LDH surveys prisoners' loved ones

The Belgium League of Human rights (LDH) has looked into this situation to better identify and understand the problems prisoners and their families are facing. These problems include the way visitors are welcomed and treated by the prison administration, the type of contact they can have with their loved ones behind bars, and the costs of travel and other expenses. LDH sent a survey to families, with the aim of collecting information that would help assess the current situation.

The questions in detail

What exactly do visitors have to face when entering the prison facility? How does the prison administration welcome and treat them during the visits? How are the visits organized? How frequent do they occur? These are some of the questions the report tried to answer. Specifically, we wanted to gain a deeper knowledge of families’ access rights to prison facilities and to assess reception conditions during the visits.

LDH publishes report

Following a legal review of the situation, LDH has just released a report that presents the point of view of detainees' friends and families. The report concludes with a series of recommendations which aim to mobilize the relevant stakeholders (political players, administrators, the media, associations and NGOs) to help improve conditions for people behind bars and those that care about them on the outside.