Dutch prison population falls 27% to 11,000 in five years

A prison corridor

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The number of people in prison in the Netherlands fell by 27% between 2011 and 2015 to just over 11,000, according to new figures from the justice ministry’s prison department.

The duration of average psychiatric prison detention fell to 7.5 years and the re-offending rate also fell over the past five years, the DJI said on Wednesday.

In particular there was 55% drop in the number of under-17s sentenced to youth detention, while the number of 18 to 22-year-olds in jail fell 44%.

The decline is due to both the falling crime rate and a switch towards community service sentences, the DJI said.

In total, 57 out of 100,000 people in the Netherlands are in jail. Only Finland has proportionally fewer people in jail than the Netherlands. Britain has the highest prison rate at 148 per 100,000, the DJI said.

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