Several hundred Norwegian convicts will serve their prison sentences in the Netherlands because there is no space for them at home, broadcaster RTL news reports.
By contrast, many jails in the Netherlands have empty cells and are being closed down. The prisons where the Norwegian prisoners will live will have Norwegian management and be run according to Norwegian rules but the general staff will be Dutch, RTL says.
Junior justice minister Fred Teeven, who is in charge of the prison service, says the agreement with the Norwegian authorities will guarantee several hundred Dutch jobs.
All the Norwegians will have been sentenced to at least two years in jail and will include people found guilty of violent and sex crimes, Teeven has confirmed.
However, people considered a flight risk or an extreme danger to society will not be sent to the Netherlands. This means Anders Breivik, who shot dead 77 youngsters on the island Utøya in 2011, will remain in Norway, RTL says.
According to Norwegian media, the deal could also involve foreign nationals convicted of crimes in Norway. Norway’s justice minister Anders Anundsen said in a statement: ‘It could also be prisoners who have foreign citizenship and are to be deported from Norway. Those who must get out of the country.’
This is not the first time the Netherlands has imported foreign criminals to fill its empty jails. Some 550 Belgians are currently being held in a Dutch jail in Tilburg.
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