First Norwegian felons arrive in Dutch prisons
The first group of Norwegian prisoners arrived in the Netherlands in an armored bus around noon on Tuesday. They are on their way to their new home in Veenhuizen, where they will serve their sentences, AD reports.
The Netherlands and Norway reached the deal to have Norwegian prisoners serve their sentences in Dutch prisons as it would solve problems for both countries. Norway has a shortage of cells, while the Netherlands is struggling with too many open cells to maintain.
The Norwegian prisoners will have their own Norwegian director in the Veenhuizen prison in Drenthe, but the other staff will be Dutch. Norway signed a contract to rent the prison for three years, with the possibility to extend for another year.
A total of 240 Norwegians will eventually settle in the Veenhuizen prison.
The arrival of these Norwegian prisoners did not happen with out a struggle. Earlier this year a number of life-sentence Dutch prisoners went to court because they did not want to be moved out of the Veenhuizen prison, which is relatively "luxurious". The were concerned that they would be moved to a prison with a less pleasant living environment. The court ruled against them.