Dutch prisoners to have own phone and key to cell

In a letter to the Lower House yesterday, the Minister for Legal Protection, Sander Dekker, said that these new reforms would decrease the workload for prison staff, and allow prisoners to feel safer, NU.nl reports.

Prisoners will feel that their belongings are safer

Not all that much will actually be changing, despite the revolutionary sound to these changes. Although prisoners will have a key to their cell, there is no keyhole on the inside of the door, so prisoners will not be able to open their own door from the inside. The advantage to the change is that prisoners will no longer have to wait for guards to close their rooms when they leave them. This will allow the prisoners to feel that their belongings are safe, and will decrease the amount of theft that occurs.

Translation: If all prisoners have a key to the front door of the prison they will be able to sub-let their cells to Dutch people who have been waiting ten years for a place to live. 

Phones will still be blocked during certain hours

When it comes to the phones, the main advantage is stopping fights over the communal phone. Although the prisoners will now have their own phone in their room, the prison staff will still be able to block numbers, have prisoners enter a code before using the phone, and be able to shut off the phones during certain hours.

In essence, both of these changes allow for increased efficiency without any real change to security. There have been changes to the prison system in recent years in the Netherlands, mostly in the form of prisons closing because there are not enough prisoners to fill them. However, judges have been punishing most crimes more severely in recent years.

What other changes would you make to Dutch prisons? Let us know your ideas in the comments below. 

Feature image: Matthew Ansley/Unsplash

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.

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