Netherlands: Many people across the globe may find it difficult to believe that there can be a country on this planet, sans violence and crime.  The Netherlands is closing all its prisons because the cost of maintaining them is too high. The reason why the prisons aren’t cost-efficient, however, is something of a national blessing: thanks to the country’s steadily declining crime rate, thousands of prison cells are going unused

The Netherlands has been observing a steady drop in the crime since 2004 and it’s all good and merry on that side of the world. With no one breaking laws or trying to kill anyone, they do not really have people who have wronged the system in any way.

This problem of empty prisons has gotten to point where last year the country had to import prisoners from Norway to keep their facilities full and system running.
While shutting prison may mean that 2,000 people will lose their jobs and only 700 out of them will be transferred to other roles available to the government, it also means that they have succeeded as a system, as a government and as citizens.

Netherlands not the only country

The Netherlands isn’t the first country to close jails because it doesn’t have enough criminals. Sweden’s prison numbers fell by about 1% per year from 2004 to 2011. Then between 2011 and 2012, they declined by 6%. In 2013, the country announced it would close four prisons and one other correctional facility due to the unusual trend. One explanation for the decrease in prison numbers, according to the Guardian, was the Swedish supreme court’s 2011 decision to give less harsh sentences for drug offenses, which could have led to inmates spending less time behind bars before going back into society.