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Holland closes prisons for lack of criminals
By Michelle Robertson
In what has been described as ‘a national blessing’, the Dutch government has announced that, thanks to a continual decline in serious crimes, it will permanently close 19 of its prisons. According to Ard van der Steur, the country’s minister of security and justice, the reason is twofold: judges are granting shorter sentences because the crimes are less serious, and the overall crime rate has steadily declined in recent years.
There is even more good news, as this trend doesn’t stop in Holland. Sweden has also closed a number of its jails because it doesn’t have enough criminals to fill them. Crime rates in that Scandinavian country fell steadily by a modest 1% per year from 2004 to 2011, but have declined by an astounding 6% per year over the past five years. As a result, the government has announced the welcome news that it will be closing four prisons and one other correctional facility.