Dutch Prisons Are Closing Because The Country Is So Safe


Damn, this story is almost two years old, but looking at all the armed robbery attacks and the feeling of general insecurity in the country, we think we need to tell you this story again.

See Also: Ghana Police Service Has Issued A Security Awareness Notice

This report was filed by the Business Insider UK in March 2016.

It said that in 2013, 19 prisons in the Netherlands closed because the country didn’t have enough criminals to fill them.

Five more closed their doors by the end of the summer in 2016.

While these closures resulted in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs, only 700 of which transitioned into other unknown roles within Dutch law enforcement, the trend of closing prisons followed a steady drop in crime since 2004.

The problem of empty jail cells even got to the point where, in September 2015, the country imported 240 prisoners from Norway just to keep the facilities full.

A number of factors underlined 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.

These measures all add up to an unbelievably low incarceration rate: Although the Netherlands has a population of 17 million, only 11,600 people were locked up. That’s a rate of 69 incarcerations per 100,000 people.

Maybe that’s something Ghana can work to achieve.

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