Wednesday 18 September 2019

Plan to make prisoners pay for their time in jail likely to fail

Prison interior with dramatic lightThe cabinet’s plan to charge prisoners €16 a day for their stay in jail is likely to fail in the upper house of parliament, where there is not enough support for the idea.

During Wednesday night’s debate in the lower house of parliament, it emerged that the Christian Democrats, D66 and Socialists oppose the measure and their support is crucial to ensure the measure passes in the senate.

‘The aim is not to make the Netherlands a safer place but to generate money for the treasury,’ one Socialist MP said.

If the legislation is passed, prisoners will be asked to pay €16 a day for a maximum of two years towards the cost their keep, costing them up to €11,680. There will be lower charges for the parents of minors. Ministers hope to raise €65m a year from the fees.

The government says it is common practice in many European countries to charge prisoners a fee for their time in prison.

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