Fewer Dutch prisoners in foreign cells, drug smugglers lead decline

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The number of Dutch nationals in foreign prisons has gone down from 2,500 to less than 2,000 in five years’ time, the AD reports.

According to figures from the foreign affairs ministry, the number of people held for drugs smuggling – some two thirds of the total number – has dropped even further: from 1679 to 971.

Dutch prisoner numbers abroad are still relatively high compared to other European countries, however.

Part of the reason for the drop are two relatively recent laws which allow Dutch prisoners abroad to spend the final part of their sentence in a Dutch prison.

‘We think we can prepare these people better for their return into society here so they won’t reoffend,’ probation chief Marjolein Groot told the paper.

Another reason for the declining numbers is a shift in the drugs market. Cocaine is losing popularity, Groot says, and pill factories can be set up anywhere. Border controls have also been ramped up, the paper writes.

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