Staff shortages raise concerns over safety in Dutch prisons

photo by A.J. van der Wal

The safety of Dutch prisons can no longer be guaranteed due to staff shortages, according to a letter by the Dutch service for custodial institutions DJI. The workload is too high, and that poses risks for both inmates and staff, according to the letter. Without intervention, there will be more violent incidents and more suicides, the DJI warns, ANP reports

The DJI's central works council addressed the letter to Edith Schippers, who is leading the negotiations on the formation of the new Dutch government, the leaders of the Dutch political parties and the director of the DJI. 

Years of budget cuts resulted in 3 thousand prison employees leaving, according to the works council. "Although the vacancy rate of cells suggest otherwise, the work pressure is extremely high. As a result, being overworked and violating the Labor law have become daily practice, with high absenteeism as a consequence."