Netherlands closing disused prisons. Are we missing something?

Nebahat Albayrak
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The Dutch Justice Ministry plans to shut down eight prisons and cancel new prison building programs to deal with what it calls a capacity surplus, according to Dutch Justice State Secretary Nebahat Albayrak.

The move will lead to the scrapping of 1,200 jobs and is expected to save 164 million euros.

“Currently, there is detention capacity of some 14,000 cell places, while according to the estimates there is a need for about 12,000 cells. This overcapacity is expected to continue for some years,” Albayrak said in a policy document on national prison system sent to the Dutch parliament Tuesday.

The cell surplus is caused by falling crime rate, Albayrak said.

Here we are – studying a nation perpetually castigated by Law and Order nutballs for being too soft on drug users, too free and easy on sex, having too many unions and too much personal freedom in the face of a large immigrant population and the danger of terrorism – ending up with empty beds in the prison system.

What’s wrong with this picture of freedom, tolerance – absent Christian morality? Apparently, damned little.

Thanks, McCullough, a co-conspirator at DU

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