Norway sending criminals to Dutch prisons after senate approval

On Tuesday the Senate approved the agreement that will allow the transfer of 242 Norwegian prisoners to the Norgerhaven location of the penitentiary institution in Veerhuizen. The first Norwegian prisoners are expected to arrive in September.

The Norwegian parliament approved the agreement in June. The agreement was made because the Netherlands is facing a surplus of cell capacity, while Norway does not have enough space for all the country's prisoners. The agreement is valid for a period of 3 years, with the option to renew every year.

A Norwegian director will be appointed at Norgehaven and a Norwegian regime will apply there. The rest of the staff at the location will be Dutch. According to the government, this agreement has saved 239 jobs within the prison system.

The employees in Veerhuizen will receive training in Norwegian law and the country's detention culture. They will also have the opportunity to take an English course.

Earlier this year a number of prisoners in the Veerhuizen facility filed a lawsuit to stop this plan as it would mean that they would have to be transferred to other cells that offer fewer luxuries to make room for the Norwegian prisoners. The court ruled that the agreement had a legitimate interest in saving jobs and that the prisoners may be transferred.