Stricter parole rules aimed at higher protection against crime

Parliament has passed an amendment under which convicts sentenced for murder cannot be released on parole, Justice Minister Judit Varga said on Facebook on Tuesday.

The minister said that the package of amendments was aimed at ensuring protection for victims of crime and to the population at large. The new rules, she added, would help diminish the possibility of repeat offences, noting the case of two children in Gyor, in western Hungary, murdered by their father who had been released from prison on parole.

Under the changes, parole can be granted in exceptional cases, but these do not include homicide, Varga said. Those granted parole will be placed under police surveillance if they were convicted of gross violence, while a restraining order to protect previous victims must be in place unless justified otherwise.

The new rules will also make it easier to take psychiatric patients in mandatory care, the minister said.

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