Dutch to Charge Prisoners for jail stay
(Representation Photo)Reuters

The Dutch government is looking at passing a bill that proposes to charge detainees for their jail stay, a move to cut down the prison expenditure of the government.

As per government estimates, incarceration is a costly affair with government spending anywhere between €100 to €200 per night per prisoner. Annually this cost adds up to anywhere between €36,500 to €73,000 per prisoner. The Dutch government since last year, has been bringing in various measures to reduce prison expenditures.

In 2013, the Dutch government announced plans to close 19 prisons and has also cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. 

The Dutch government's new bill that is yet to go through the final approval estimates that making prisoners foot a part of their jail stay bills would bring in about €65 million or $88 million to the Netherlands prison system. According to official statistics, Netherlands that has one of the lowest crime rates has over 12,100 detainees in its prisons.

The Dutch Minister Opstelten Teeven (Security and Justice) on Monday sent the bill to various bodies such as the Council for the Judiciary and the Public Prosecutor for the approval, the Ministry of Security and Justice said in a statement. 

Similarly, the Ministry of Security and Justice also plans to levy bill on juvenile detainees and criminals with psychiatric records. Their expenses will have to borne by parents of the detainees, which has been estimated to be around 16 euros per day.

In the official statement, Dutch Minister Opstelten Teeven (Security and Justice) notes that the convicted have violated the law and should be held accountable. Hence the government should not be singularly bear the cost of their criminal justice act.