In the last decade the Dutch have reduced prison inmate populations by 50% and those sentences average to about 90 days in jail. Many people expected this drastic reduction of inmates to lead to a notable increase in crime because:
- Dangerous, proven criminals are being quickly released back onto the street
- There is virtually no deterrent effect to being jailed in the Netherlands
Contrary to this expectation the fact is that Dutch system has also reduced crime by nearly 40%.
As you can see in the image to the right, the Dutch now use their old prisons as temporary housing for some refugees.
How can that be? In simple terms, it turns out that after thousands of years of trying different forms of incarceration and punishment that Europeans have figured out: