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Dutch prisons are closing as falling crime rate leaves cells empty

Dutch-prisons-closing-due-to-less-crimesThe authorities in Netherlands are planning to close five more prisons as the falling crime rate leaves the cells empty, it has been reported.

The decision by the authorities to close the prisons has been taken in a bid to prevent the useless cost incurred by empty cells, the country’s justice minister Ard van der Steur told parliament.

Van der Steur further added 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 said, adding that the empty cells were costing the state too much.

According to reports, the downward trend in crime, has fallen by an average of 0.9% in recent years, mainly due to relaxed drug laws, a focus on rehabilitation over punishment, and an electronic ankle monitoring system that allows people to re-enter the workforce.

The decision to close further prisons due to useless expenditure comes despite Dutch government has reclaimed part of the cost by importing prisoners from countries with a surplus, according to the locan media, Dutch News.

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. -KP


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