Netherlands is closing down up to five prisons since a third of its 13,500 prison cells are unfilled, because there are no criminals in the country.
￼Figures from the Dutch ministry of justice released on Monday suggest overall crime have dropped and the prison workers’ union, FNV, fears 1,900 jail workers will lose their jobs, while 700 could become “mobile” employees based in more than one location.
“More than a third of cells are not used, and the predictions are that it is going to get worse,” said Jaap Oosterveer, a spokesman for the ministry of justice.
“Obviously, from a social perspective, it is better because crime is down, but if you work in jails, it is not good news.”
The Netherlands has been innovative in trying to solve its jail problem. It has “leased” spots in jail to Belgium and Norway, so around 300 Belgian criminals have been held at His Dutch Majesty’s pleasure in Tilberg prison.
Meanwhile, the country signed a new three-year deal with Norway last September, with 240 Norwegian convicts taking up residence at Norgerhaven jail in the prison village of Veenhuizen in Drenthe. Telegraph reports.