Penitentiary Maashegge in Netherlands
Neat lawns, flowerbeds, playgrounds and buildings designed by famous architects, this is how a Dutch prison looks like. It is more like a country club or recreation center, but not a prison. It has everything you need for healthy living. Today, in the Dutch prison Penitentiary Maashegge contains 167 people, but in 2 years it will be closed.
In 2009 the Dutch justice ministry announced that it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system, due to the decrease in crime in the country. In order to somehow save their beautiful prisons, the Dutch government is inviting foreign criminals into them. For example, last year 500 Belgian inmates were invited. The Netherlands would get 30 million euros in the deal, and it will allow the closing of the prisons in Rotterdam and Veenhuizen to be postponed until 2012.
This is a medium-security prison which contains 167 prisoners and 140 employees. Taking pictures of the prisoners is prohibited.
The prison looks like a park inside. The Dutch can be definitely proud not only of their cheese, tulips and wind-mills but also of the penitentiary system that had gone through perfection since the 16th century. In 1595 they built the first prison where criminals were engaged in working and where the principle of humanity prevailed.
One can get the idea of the place only looking at the barbed wire fences.
The territory is divided into parts which are connected with one another with the help of such gates.
Posters for personnel.
Doors are supplied with special electronic locks.
They can meet relatives once a month for 2 hours and can make a paid 10-minute call per week. There is a library here that can be attended once a week as well.
Prisoners can work 4 hours a day and earn 25 Euros a week.
Each room is supplied with a radio, TV socket, watching TV costs 6 Euros a week.
Those who misbehaved are sent to the isolation ward. It is empty and has no windows.
The prisoners are also given a piece of chalk to draw on the door. This can be the only thing to do.
View from the window.
A catholic board school was located here before and was later turned into a prison.
The ground is used for walking.
If somebody can't afford paying 6 Euros a week for watching TV in the ward, he can watch it in the hall.
The prison has standard rooms. Corridors end with a kitchen where anyone can cook for himself if he doesn't like the menu. Prisoners are given jam, rolls, coffee, tea and juices for breakfast. A dinner consists of three hot dishes, salads and fruits. In some prisons it's allowed to order dishes from restaurants. Jews often order Kosher food. Prisoners have a right not to attend the dining room. In this case they will be delivered food but before it's necessary to check whether the delivered menu corresponds to the dishes on the list.
This is the building where young people who haven't reached the age of 23 spend time before the court. Preliminary conclusion can't last longer than 3 months.
A prison must remind of home. Otherwise a person will only become more angry.
Good doctors, attentive nurses and best equipment are available. Only two cases of tuberculosis were recently revealed. Since 2008 the practice of giving food additives reducing stress conditions has been introduced. In one of prisons they started dispensing reagent called orange aroma associated with health and freshness and decreasing aggressiveness.
These molds are left by prisoners in hope not to return here any more.
The Holland law doesn't have an article according to which a prisoner can get an additional term for escape.
Prisoners are welcome to attend the school.
A religious room.
Holland prisons are filled by 86%. This is the lowest index in Europe.
A computer class.
Once a month prisoners can go home for a week. The complex will be closed in two years due to the low level of crime.