A safe country means no jails: prisons are closing in the Netherlands!

Can you imagine a country where 19 prisons are closed because there is not enough criminals to fill them? Or a country where they are having to import prisoners from neighbouring countries to fill the prisons? Well, you no longer have to imagine because that is exactly what is happening in Holland!

In 2013, 19 prisons were closed due to the country being unable to fill them, by the end of summer there will be another 5 closures. As you can imagine, this is affecting the workers and will result in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs! with only 700 of those people being relocated in to other law enforcement work.

So, why is the crime-rate so low in Holland? This is mainly due to the fact that the country has in place, relaxed drug laws which are focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment and they also enforce the use of the electronic ankle monitoring system (aka tag) this enables people to work instead of being locked away in a cell.

But, how different is the incarceration rate in Holland compared to other countries? To give you an idea: The Netherlands has a population of 17 million people and only 11,600 of those people are locked up, meaning that there are only 69 per 100,000 people locked away. In comparison, the US has a higher rate at 716 per 100,000 people, which is currently the highest in the world.

Personally, I think that the US could take some notes from the dutch law system, more relaxed laws and rehabilitation services are keeping the Netherlands a happy country and one with a low crime rate.