Prisons Are Shutting Down in Netherlands because People Are Not Committing Crime
In 2013, 19 Dutch prisons closed because the country didn’t have enough criminals to fill them. Now, five more prisons are slated to close their doors by the end of the summer, according to internal documents obtained by The Telegraaf.
While these closures will result in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs, only 700 of which will transition into other roles within Dutch law enforcement, the closing of prisons follows a steady drop in crime since 2004.
Funny enough, the “problem” of empty jail cells has even gotten to the point where, last September, they had to import 240 prisoners from Norway just to keep the facilities full.
Still, according to The Telegraaf’s report, Justice Minister Ard van der Steur announced to parliament that the cost of maintaining sparsely-filled prisons was a major problem for the country.
A number of factors underlie the Netherlands’ ability to keep its crime rate so low, namely, relaxed drug laws, a focus on rehabilitation over punishment, and an electronic ankle monitoring system that allows people to re-enter the workforce.
A study published in 2008 found the ankle monitoring system reduced the recidivism rate by up to half compared to traditional incarceration. Instead of wasting away in a jail cell, eating up federal dollars, convicted criminals are given the opportunity to contribute to society.
Our country Nigeria can learn from this by introducing REAL social security to discourage crime.