Netherlands has 25% fewer prisoners than in 2011
The Netherlands had almost one quarter fewer prisoners in 2021 than 10 years earlier, in 2011, the Council of Europe has reported. The figure fell by 22.5 percent in total.
Between 2020 and 2021 there were 7.9 percent fewer prisoners. The start of the coronavirus restrictions made committing crimes much more difficult, according to the Council.
Last year, 54 people per 100,000 inhabitants were imprisoned in the Netherlands, according to figures from the Council. That equates to about 9,500 people.
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported that 27,300 people were detained in 2020. The big difference lies in the definition of a detainee, which is the authorities and the figures that are used. An example of this is that the Council of Europe has not included people in pre-trial detention, while the CBS has.
The survey included data from 49 countries. The Netherlands is one of five countries with the lowest number of prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants of those countries.
In contrast, the Netherlands has a very high suicide rate with almost 13 suicides per 10,000 inmates. The average in European prisons is 5.7. France has the highest number, 27.9 per 10,000.
In total, 1.4 million people were imprisoned in European countries that provided data, according to the Council of Europe. That is equivalent to 102 inmates per 100,000 inhabitants.
Reporting by ANP