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NCJ Number: 73895 Find in a Library
Title: On the Rehabilitation of Convicts
Journal: Revue de droit penal et de criminologie  Issue:60, N 7  Dated:(July 1980)  Pages:679-704
Author(s): A Spielman
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 26
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Belgium
Annotation: This article discusses the benefits to ex-offenders and to society of a law passed by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in December 1976, which restores full civil and political rights to released ex-offenders.
Abstract: Without seeking the previous agreement of the members of the criminal justice system, the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg enacted a law according to which -- after a suitable delay to prove that they have become law-abiding and useful members of society -- all released criminal offenders, regardless of committing offenses, are reinstated to all civil and political rights forfeited as a consequence of criminal convictions. This study discusses the historical and penological background of this law, commenting extensively on all its applications and effects. This sweeping reform of the Luxembourg criminal codes includes the expungement of all police and judicial records so that ex-offenders can build a new life and find suitable employment without the handicap of a criminal record. The period of time whic must elapse between an ex-prisoner's release and the restoration of rights varies; however, the Luxembourg legislature followed the example of belgian penal law in making it as short as possible: the guiding philosophy is to enhance the beneficial effects of the rehabilitation measure. Comparing it to probation and parole as a constructive penological reform, this article cites relevant recidivism statistics clearly favoring the new law versus the lifelong stigmatization of ex-offenders, whose criminal records and permanent loss of civil and political rights thwarted all their efforts at social reintegration. The nature of this law is defined as purely pragmatic and an instrument for enhancing corrections effectiveness in preventing recidivism.
Index Term(s): Belgium; Criminal codes; Ex-offenders; Ex-offenders rights; Expungement or sealing of records; France; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Luxembourg; Rehabilitation; Restoration of rights; Social reintegration
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