Major reforms to Dutch prison system

Sweeping reforms have been introduced into the Dutch prison system in order to make 340 million euros of savings, a large chunk of the one billion euros worth of cuts which are to be implemented by the Ministry of Security and Justice by 2018.

More austere conditions

A number of the cuts have been made by creating more austere conditions for prisoners in the Netherlands. The activities offered to certain prisoners as part of their incarceration will now be limited to 28 hours per week, and over half of all prisoners will be placed in multiple occupancy cells.

This has allowed the government to close certain prison facilities as it seeks to reduce the total capacity of Dutch prisons by 13,3 percent. The closure of these facilities will affect 3.700 employees within the sector.

Electronic tagging

State Secretary for Security and Justice Fred Teeven, the minister behind the plans, hopes to increase the use of electronic tagging in order to fill the gap left by institutions closing.

Prisoners who are electronically detained will be forced to search for and keep a job themselves, and if they are unable to do so they will be forced to do community service instead. If an electronic detainee does not have a job then he will only be allowed to leave his residence for maximum two hours per day.


Mark McDaid


Mark McDaid

Mark hails from the Emerald Isle but has been living in the land of cheese and deep-fried-indiscriminate-meat since February 2009. He can often be found trying to read through a...

Read more



Leave a comment