According to Ard van der Steur, the Dutch minister of security and justice, judges are granting shorter sentences, meaning criminals spend less time in jail. But there has also been a decline in more serious crimes. In recent years, the Netherland’s crime rate has declined about 0.9% on average every year.
The minister further says that due to the closing down of the prisons, more than 1,900 prison workers will lose their jobs. He added that the decision is inevitable since the cost of maintaining the prisons are high yet there are no occupants.
The Netherlands has been facing this good-to-have problem for years now: the country closed eight jails because of the falling prison population in 2009, and shut down another 19 in 2014. And other countries started paying attention: in 2015, Norway transferred more than 1,000 of their inmates to a jail in the Netherlands because it was seeing the opposite trend—there was not enough room for all its criminals in its jails.
Another good news from Sweden came in 2004 when the country experienced less than 1 % crime rate, prompting them to close 4 of their few prisons.
While that is happening in first world countries, prisons in Africa are swelling as crime rate increase to alarming levels. This situation is mostly contributed by the high level of unemployment and poverty.