Extra Cutbacks on Prisons in the Making
THE HAGUE, 27/03/14 - Justice State Secretary Fred Teeven is taking into account the possibility that he will have to make extra cutbacks on the prison system because fewer short and medium-term prison sentences are being imposed in the Netherlands.
There are currently 9,000 people in prison in the Netherlands and 1,430 empty cells. "An all time low," said the state secretary Thursday in a Lower House debate, who noted that there are now more prison staff than prisoners.
Teeven had already announced last June that 19 prisons would have to be closed due to budget savings. He does not however now plan to close even more prisons.
The state secretary promised the House to produce a study before the summer of the reasons for the falling prison inflows. “There could be a series of reasons,” according to Teeven. Critics say the main reason is that judges increasingly hand down community service and GPS ankle-band sentences instead of jail terms.