BIJ1 strives for a society that is safe for all. We believe that, as a society, we have a common duty to prevent crime and to guarantee security. That means tackling inequality of opportunity. And that, when people do wrong, we must give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes. For BIJ1 , humanity is the key to preventing and tackling crime. We also want to tackle violence and crime for which there is currently too little accountability. Such as the destruction of nature, the exploitation of workers, ethnic profiling and police violence. We will invest in eradicating class justice, fighting for a just society, tackling gender-based violence and eliminating institutional racism in the police force.
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE INSTEAD OF PUNISHMENT
The current system of punishment and imprisonment is a racist system that does not work and is not aimed at recovery. Ethnic profiling is currently the norm. Prisons hold twice as many people with a migrant background as people without a migrant background, while people with a migrant background make up only 24% of the population. Many studies show that people of colour are systematically punished more severely than white people. As well as more cases of police violence and repression.
Research also shows that punishment and imprisonment aren’t even effective means against crime. On the contrary, prison sentences and harsher sentences often lead to worse reintegration of offenders, do nothing for the victims and do not prevent crime. On the other hand, being able to participate in society and having to take responsibility for correcting one’s mistakes are effective. That is where we need to go.
TOWARDS A SAFE, HUMANE AND JUST COUNTRY
For a safe, humane and just system, BIJ1 is committed to extending restorative justice as an addition to our criminal law. In this, more attention is paid to the underlying problems of violence and crime, room for redress and processing for victims, and there are more opportunities for perpetrators to become full members of society again. We also choose not to invest in punishing petty crime and we do not invest in the police. On the contrary, we do want to invest in a society in which everyone has a second chance and in which society-wide inequalities are tackled.
BIJ1 proposes the following solutions to create a society that is safe for all.
FROM CRIMINAL CHAIN TO A FAIR RULE OF LAW
- We will put money into good public services and promote equal opportunities in society. We ensure equal access to education, a livable income and tackling society-wide racism. We do not invest in the police. We will invest the money that this frees up in good public services.
- People with misunderstood behaviour are more likely to be victims of police violence. We need to invest in good care, so that people with misunderstood behaviour get the right help. The police have no role to play in this.
- We are decriminalising non-violent crimes, such as drug crimes.
- The cultivation, possession and sale of soft drugs will become legal, so that the government will have more insight into the quality of drugs. Introduction will be regulated. Monopolies on the cultivation of soft drugs by large companies will be combated.
- Hard drugs will become legal and government-regulated. In this way, better advice can be given on the use of drugs and people with drug problems can be helped sooner and more efficiently.
- In order to reduce petty crime and make neighbourhoods safer, we are setting up pilots for neighbourhood courts. These are courts that look at the circumstances that lead to crime. The focus here is not on prosecution, but on people, the quality of life in the neighbourhood and correcting mistakes.
- We only open new prisons based on the Finnish ‘open’ model and convert existing prisons. In this way, perpetrators keep in touch with society, are treated in a dignified manner and enabled to take responsibility and repair damage done.
- Prison sentences will become a remedy only for extreme cases. From now on, we will be handing out community service sentences. In addition, early release remains possible. We will lower the required conditions of eligibility for this.
FROM CLASS JUSTICE TO PROTECTION OF RIGHTS
- We will invest in the social legal profession and combating class justice. We are going to pay social lawyers fair wages.
- We provide access to legal assistance at every municipal counter and ensure that this assistance is free of charge for those who cannot afford it.
- Prisoners’ rights are better enshrined in regulations and compliance with them is better monitored.
- Ethnic profiling bodies are subject to criminal prosecution. The newly established Ministry of Equality will ensure that any damage caused is repaired.
- We will enforce our anti-discrimination legislation more rigorously. An Educational Measure of Discrimination is imposed on people who discriminate.
- We are committed to detecting and prosecuting tax evasion and tax fraud by large companies and the wealthiest.
- We hold companies that demolish the planet and nature in the Netherlands, or outside the Netherlands responsible. This is subject to appropriate (international) regulations aimed at repairing the damage caused.
FROM POLICE VIOLENCE TO BETTER RULES FOR THE POLICE
- Anyone who commits to using ethnic profiling will be prosecuted. In addition, we ban the use of ethnicity, nationality and origin in risk profiles, introduce stop forms for all police checks and make body-cams the norm. Preventive searches and other checks that promote ethnic profiling will come to an end.
- The basic armament of the police goes back to truncheon and pepper spray. Firearms should only be carried in exceptional cases. Training and protocols on the use of firearms will become much stricter: for example, the police may not shoot to apprehend someone.
- We ban risky techniques during arrests such as the chokehold.
- We’ll introduce an agency that will independently monitor the functioning of the police and deal with complaints regarding the police.
- The practical immunity of police officers will be dismantled. Whoever kills someone must be held accountable.
- The police will become more transparent. Data on police contacts with civilians will also include information on ethnicity of civilians, reason and outcome of the contact, injuries and deaths. Investigations into racism and police violence will be made public.
- The police will have clear rules on manners and language. We’ll make it easier to dismiss police officers because of racism and violence. In addition, we are preventing the police from being staffed by people with racist views.
- Whistle-blowers will be protected and must be given every opportunity to raise abuses.
- We will work towards the abolition of the Immigration Police and want to put an end to all deportations in the long term. This includes the closure of detention centres and the release of all ‘foreign nationals’ in custody and their escort by expert organisations. There will also be an independent investigation into possible violations of human rights by (people within) the Immigration Police and possible prosecution.
TACKLING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
- We will develop an integrated approach against gender-based violence. This means that there will be more research into the role that gender plays in violent crime and which forms of education, upbringing and information could improve this.
- Active efforts are being made to increase the willingness of victims of gender-based violence to report it.
- The rape legislation will be amended with our definition of consent as a starting point.
- There will be a structural increase in investment in the various women’s shelters and in assistance for victims of gender-based violence.
- Violence incidents based on gender identity, gender expression and sexuality will be recorded centrally.