Prison population goes up, but almost half of all prisoners are still awaiting trial

Vught high security prison. Photo: Mystro82 via Wikimedia Commons
Vught high security prison. Photo: Mystro82 via Wikimedia Commons

The number of people held in Dutch jails has risen for the third year in a row, national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.

At the end of September last year, almost 10,000 people were being held in prison, a rise of some 400 on 2018, the CBS said. Compared with three years ago, the prison population has risen by 1,100.

However, 44% of the prison population last September was on remand, ahead of their trial. In Europe as a whole, about one in four prisoners is on remand, according to European penal statistics agency Space.

Some 40% of prisoners had been jailed for three years or more and 95% are male, the CBS said.

The Dutch prison population had been falling steadily, along with the crime rate, leading to several unit closures.

The closure of 19 jails in 2013 led to a storm of protest from prison workers and the government began ‘importing’ prisoners from Belgium and Norway to fill the gap and keep some prisons open.

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