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Geens to open third forensic psychiatric centre by 2019

07:28 27/08/2015

Federal justice minister Koen Geens has called for the creation of a third forensic psychiatric centre (FPC) to allow the removal of the last internees from ordinary prisons. FPCs accommodate those who have been found by a court to be criminally insane and who are normally detained for an indeterminate period. 

The first FPC opened in Ghent (pictured) at the end of last year, and its 264 places are now almost full. Until then, psychiatric internees had been housed in special wings of the country’s prisons. A contract has been signed for the creation of a second in Antwerp, with 182 places and a separate women’s wing.

“The building in Antwerp will be ready in the course of 2016,” Geens said in an answer to a parliamentary question. “The goal of these centres is to provide a safe environment for the proper psychiatric treatment and appropriate care. Aside from Ghent and Antwerp, there will also in the future be a third forensic psychiatric centre, and two institutions for the long-term care of people with psychiatric problems.”

Details on the location of the new centre and the number of places it will provide are not yet available, he said.

Photo courtesy FPC Gent

Written by Alan Hope