In most countries where police officials and the government are having to deal with the growing number of offenders and not enough prison cells to fit them in, Netherlands seems to be relishing the opposite trend.
Prisons in Netherlands are actually being closed down. Yes, you read it right!
And this isn’t new. In 2013, the country shut down eight prisons. Last year, it shut down 19 prisons and now, five more are about to be closed soon.
Why? Because the country just doesn’t have enough criminals to fill them, reports The Telegraaf (Link in Dutch), who claim to have access to internal documents.
Netherlands enjoys a very low crime rate, which has fallen by an average of 0.9% in recent years, report Dutch News.
Out of the 17 million people living in Netherlands, only 11,600 people are locked up. That’s approximately seven for every 10,000 people.
The Dutch News report further claims that Justice minister Ard van der Steur while addressing the Parliament said. “Judges were imposing shorter sentences, meaning criminals were spending less time on average in jail. More serious crimes are also becoming less common,” he said.
In fact, other countries are now outsourcing their prisoners to Netherlands. In September 2015, Norway transferred more than 1,000 of their inmates to Netherlands jail because there was no space available for them in it’s prisons, reports The Guardian.
While Netherlands can take pride about the unbelievably low crime rate, there is a flip side to this story. The closing down of prisons would mean that nearly 2000 people will lose their jobs and unfortunately, only 700 will be transitioned to unknown roles within the Dutch Law enforcement.