This week Dutch junior justice minister Fred Teeven signed an agreement for the Netherlands to rent out its ‘luxury’ prison cells to Norwegian prisoners, as Norway’s jails are quite full. The cells are considered fancy because they have nice views, prisoners can grown and cook their own food, they can enjoy a hobby space and better television that most regular people, and can also choose the colour of one of their cell walls.
The Norwegians will be moving into those cells in a deal that will make the Dutch state 25 million euro and take away the privileges of the Dutch prisoners current using these cells. The Dutch prisoners are pissed and are taking the justice minister to court, while the Norwegians are pissed because family visits will be a problem, costing a lot of time and money.
In the past some 550 Belgian convicts were housed in Tilburg, but that’s not too far to visit and the language is pretty much the same.
(Link: www.businessinsider.com, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)
Tags: norway, prison
Justice minister Fred Teeven is seriously considering putting computers in prison cells to cut down on reintegration teachers and guards. The computers will have little or no Internet (a little Internet sounds a lot like being a little bit pregnant) and no e-mail.
Sitting in a cell for your crimes with a computer sounds so similar to sitting in a cubicle with a computer at work (with Facebook bans and all) that it barely qualifies as jail time. I can picture a hacker doing jail time this way and having a blast. The smart money is on how fast porn will get on those computers.
So if technically there’s no Internet and e-mail, what’s the point? Playing Minecraft?How is that supposed to help anybody reintgrate into society? It sounds like another big waste of money to me.
(Link: phys.org, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)
Tags: computers, jail, prison
The Dutch have made hotels out of tree tents, quaint Dutch houses and even key cards. Now it was time to turn being stuck in a room into a real hotel experience.
Het Arresthuis in Roermond, Limgburg is a Dutch luxury hotel in a building that was a jail for more than 150 years. Guests at the hotel can stay in jail cells or, for a more luxurious experience, the warden’s quarters.
Part of the Van der Valk hotel chain, Het Arresthuis had been abandoned for years, but was reopened in 2002 as an emergency facility for ‘body stuffers’, people who smuggle hard drugs into the Netherlands by ingesting them.
(Link: laughingsquid.com, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)
Tags: hotel, Limgburg, prison, Roermond
A 31-year-old man escaped from Vught prison on Tuesday by just walking out the door with a group of visitors, according to newspaper De Telegraaf. “The man, who was serving time for a violent crime, was spotted later on security cameras mingling with visitors and leaving through the front door.” It took guards hours to figure out how the man went missing. They realised it by watching video footage of him leaving.
Incompetence, you say? At the beginning of this year, one of the Netherlands’ eight most wanted criminals turned out to be in jail in Belgium since 2008.
(Links: dutchnews, zibb.nl, Photo by Ken Mayer, some rights reserved)
Tags: prison, Vught
“One of the Netherlands’ eight most wanted criminals has turned out to be in jail in Belgium since 2008. To the embarrassment of the Dutch justice authorities, the fact that man is serving a 10-year sentence there only became known after they had released their ‘most wanted’ list.”
Seven more to go!
A few days ago, there was a whole discussion about whether publishing the list was a good idea, the pros, the cons (darn those puns) and the usual round table discussion that fuels evening television in the Netherlands. The irony was that releasing a list of eight heavy duty criminals was a first and the goal was to let the public help.
I can picture it now. After not having received any info in 2007 from Belgium on the whereabouts of this bad man once he was off the Dutch radar, some employee checked off the box ‘AWOL’ or something and that was that. Somehow, the bad man landed in jail in Belgium and no information was given on that and the box ‘AWOL’ remained checked. Don’t you just love this European Union thing sometimes.
(Link: rnw.nl, Photo of Schie prison by Miek37, some rights reserved)
Tags: criminals, prison
A 56-year-old Dutch woman, Anna B. as she calls herself, was caught smuggling 8 kilos of “very good Dutch weed” into Italy, two years ago. Her lawyer managed to make it so that after a few months she could spend the rest of her 3 year 4 month sentence under house arrest. Friends got her an apartment in what appears to be a very idyllic village in Lombardia, and another stroke of luck made it so that she got two hours a day to go to the supermarket, time she uses to go hiking.
What does one do the rest of the day? Blogging (Dutch), taking pictures, making music, living on the Internet.
The lawyer called to tell me that next Monday, March 5, is the court date where we’ll again try and get me freedom of movement within the province between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.
That’s quite a lot.
I really only wanted to sail a boat to the horizon for once. Or walk until I am tired. Or eat the daily special at the daily special restaurant at the top of the hill. Hmmm, nice.
Anna got her extra bit of freedom last week (Dutch).
Photo of Lake Como by ezioman, some rights reserved.
Tags: blogging, courts, gaol, Italy, marijuana, prison, smuggling
Seven artists escaped an abandoned gaol at the Oostereiland prison island in Hoorn last week. The “prisoners” were participating in an experiment that would see them creating art in a secluded setting for a month, but when they got there, they found the setting a little bit too barbaric. The artists had to sleep on air mattresses and carry chairs from other parts of the complex to their cells.
Six of the original 13 Isolations members remained behind, although what they could possibly learn about prison life under such harsh conditions boggles the imagination.
Via Trendbeheer (Dutch). Photo by Aapo Haapanen, some rights reserved.
Tags: Hoorn, islands, prison, prisons