Some 3,700 jobs at risk as justice ministry overhauls prison system

Some 3,700 people may lose their jobs in a major shake-up of the Dutch prison system aimed at saving €340m, junior justice minister Fred Teeven said on Friday.

The overhaul means half of all prisoners will eventually have to share a cell, Teeven said.

In total, 1,600 of the 12,500 Dutch prison cells will go over the next five years, Teeven said. Some prisons will close but local employment opportunities will be taken into account in deciding where the axe should fall. Weekend and evening programmes will also be reduced.

Amsterdam

‘A lot is to close,’ Teeven said. ‘For example, in 2016 the Bjilmer prison [south of Amsterdam] will go, as will all cupola-based jails.’

The cuts will also affect psychiatric prisons (tbs) where the average treatment period will be cut from 10 to eight years.

The cabinet is also looking at possible private sector involvement in running prisons, Nos television said.