The Netherlands is closing five of its prisons for lack of prisoners

The Netherlands is closing five of its prisons for lack of prisoners


Well, that doesn’t sound like a bad problem to have, does it? It certainly isn’t. The Netherlands is closing five more of its prisons over the next few years, because the cost of maintaining them runs too high.

The reason is simple and it’s some kind of a national blessing –  due to the country’s steadily declining crime rate, thousands of prison cells go unused.

According to Dutch News, there has been a decline in more serious crimes. In recent years, the Netherlands’ crime rate has declined about 0.9% on average every year. This is not the first such action to be taken by the Dutch government. The country closed eight jails because of the falling prison population in 2009 and another 19 in 2014.

What’s more, they even started receiving inmates from abroad: back in 2015, Norway transferred more than 1,000 of their inmates to a jail in the Netherlands because there was not enough room for all its criminals in its jails.

Although it may be the one facing the most fortunate such situation, the Netherlands isn’t the first country to close jails for lack of criminals. According to The Guardian, Sweden’s prison numbers fell by about 1% per year from 2004 to 2011, then by 6% between 2011 and 2012.  In 2013, the country finally announced it would close four prisons and one other correctional facility due to the unusual trend.