Post-penal detention of dangerous offenders – a real solution to the problem or just an illusion? Comments on the operations of the National Anti-Social Behaviour Prevention Centre in Poland

The Polish Act of 22 November 2013 (“the Beast Law”) put in place the category of “persons considered to pose a threat” and a new, post-penal precautionary measure – compulsory placement in the National Anti-Social Behaviour Prevention Centre. Juxtaposed with the intended goals (social security vs. therapy and reintegration), the Act has proved rather ineffective against the adopted assumptions after 6 years of application. Only one person has been released from the now heavily overcrowded Centre since its inception in 2014. Changes are required in procedures for adjudication and extension of detention, conditions thereof and the preferred therapeutic methods. Also, the full statutory regulation of the rights of those detained as well as a change in its philosophy towards one more like the German or Dutch system seem necessary. Is there a European standard for minimum guarantees for the detainees and are there any good or bad practices (including Polish ones) to follow or avoid?