Corporate Ambassador Monitoring Report
The Dutch justice ministry announced the planned closing of eight prisons in the Netherlands due to a declining crime rate which was expected to continue.
About 19 prisons were scheduled to be closed because of continued decline in crime rates. Additionally, those who are convicted are choosing electronic tagging instead of incarceration. This allows people to go back to work and continue as productive members of society. It also saves about $50,000 per year per person (about $50 million saved per year for every 1000 people).
Johnson County and the Netherlands have something in common. The average incarceration rate in the Netherlands is about 163 people per 100,000. Counties and countries with low incarceration rates typically take a different approach to criminal justice and their investment in social services.
In the Netherlands, for example, the focus is on “deterring and mitigating crime” as well as “sanctioning those who violate laws with … rehabilitation efforts.”
This is similar to the approach taken in Johnson County with jail alternatives and investing in local social services. The county recently invested approximately $2.3 million into a portfolio of local organisations that have demonstrated a history of success with improving the quality of life in Johnson County.
While progressive drug laws in the Netherlands may be partially the reason for a decline in arrests, other social factors are also at work. This points to crime reduction through changing social behaviour as a key to reducing incarceration — rather than just changing the laws or telling police to stop arresting people as a method for artificially creating the perception that there’s less crime.
More Jails in Netherlands will be shutdown as the Dutch government looks to cut the cost of hundreds of empty cells, justice minister Ard van der Steur has told parliament, reports Dutch News. Official documents reveal that the government plans to shut five more prisons, with the loss of 1,900 jobs. A further 700 staff will be given ‘mobile’ positions, though the exact meaning of this is unclear.
The downward trend in crime, which has fallen by an average of 0.9% in recent years, is expected to mean 3,000 prison cells and 300 youth detention places will be surplus to requirements in five years’ time. Van der Steur also said that judges were imposing shorter sentences, meaning criminals were spending less time on average in jail. More serious crimes are also becoming less common, he added. After finalising plans to close 19 prisons last year, the justice ministry said there were no plans for further cuts, but Van der Steur said the empty cells were costing the state too much.
Socialist Party MP Nine Kooiman said it was a ‘scandal’ that the government was breaking its earlier promise. ‘If this cabinet was really working to catch crooks, we wouldn’t have this problem of empty cells,’ she said. The Dutch government has reclaimed part of the cost by importing prisoners from countries with a surplus. Last September the first of 240 Norwegian convicts were transferred to Veenhuizen jail, in Drenthe, under a deal between the two governments for an initial period of three years. 8.64k Share 24 Share Share Tweet Share
Editor’s note: In Pakistan, all jails are overcrowded and jails are expected to face more crowd in the months ahead as Pakistani nation is aspiring to see the plunderers of national wealth behind the bars especially in the wake of Panama Leaks that have heightened anti-corruption debates in Pakistan.
As Netherlands is shutting down its jails because of the non-availability of criminals, Pakistan’s Establishment must approach the Dutch Govt to get all jails on rent to fill them with our ‘Kings of Corruption’ their cronies, facilitators and beneficiaries. If this happens, our VIPs would get VIP jails, VIP Culture, VIP country and many more pleasures. In return, Pakistan will get rid of its bloody plunderers of national wealth and resources.