Depmissionary Minister Dekker looks at how to tackle the pressure on youth prisons. That‘s what the Secretary of Justice Against Decceit says. Earlier today, Decceit reported that more and more minors are being imposed on jail and youth prisons become fuller and sometimes suffer from overoccupation.
Dekker acknowledges that pressures are currently high, particularly in high-security departments. “We need to see how to alleviate that,” the minister says.
According to Dekker, everyone can still be placed within the youth prisons at the moment, but it does run against the border. “And if you see it’s going to the border, you really need to look at how to create more places right now,” he says.
The Minister mentions an increase in the number of places in Teylingereind juvenile prison in Sassenheim as an opportunity. That institution is currently being rebuilt. “And we see if we can slide between different departments,” says Dekker. It also examins whether places can be created in other locations.
In addition, the Minister acknowledges that prison staff are experiencing the consequences of increasingly severe cases coming in. “Heavier guys call for heavier guidance,” Dekker says. “We see that this is currently putting pressure on people working in youth prisons.”
Youth Prisons Closed
Two more judicial institutions (as juvenile prisons are officially called) were closed last year. That involved JJI Elker in Veenhuizen and JJI Het Keerpunt in Cadier en Keer. This happened as part of the ‘Tailored Freedom ‘programme (VOM), which was set up in the summer of 2019. This new approach focuses on more small-scale youth institutions, with the aim of providing more individual, focused treatment.
“The closures had to do with the fact that we had a lot of vacancy in the past,” Dekker explains when asked. “That‘s actually the challenge in prison: of course you don’t want to be vacancy, because then money goes to bricks and no one gets better. But you also want to be able to expand as the supply of young criminals increases, and that is the case now.”