Dutch felons must leave "luxury" prison cells for Norwegian convicts

The court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch prisoners serving sentences in Division K of the long term facility in Veerhuizen, may be transferred to make room for Norwegian prisoners.

The facility in Veerhuizen houses prisoners serving long term sentences (from 10 years to life) and provides luxuries and privileges that most other prisons do not. The Dutch government made a deal with the Norwegian authorities to transfer a number of Norwegian prisoners to the facility in Veerhuizen, as Norway is facing a shortage of cells. This means that some Dutch prisoners will be transferred to less "luxurious" prisons.

The matter ended up in court after convicted murderer Sandro G., who is serving a life sentence in the Veerhuizen facility, refused to be transferred. He and several other prisoners turned to the court. Division K of the facility is currently the only facility in the Netherlands specially designed to detain long-term prisoners.

The court ruled today that State Secretary Fred Teeven's (Security and Justice) aim to maintain jobs with this deal is a legitimate interest and that the Dutch prisoners may be transferred. It was, however, acknowledged that the Dutch prisoners should be given an adequate alternative.