The 18 long-term prisoners from Norgerhaven Veenhuizen prison outside Groningen aim to prevent Dutch prison authorities from shifting them to another prison to make room for the Norwegian inmates.
“The long-termers don’t want to go to another prison. They think they have it good here,” Jaap Oosterveer, spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Justice, told VG newspaper. “This is not up to them, it’s up to the Justice Department. But they believe they are entitled to it and have gone to court.”
Norway is planning to rent 242 prison places at Norgerhaven from the Dutch Ministry of Justice in a radical cross-border solution to the country’s capacity shortage.
Vidar Brein-Karlsen (FRP), Undersecretary of Ministry of Justice told VG that he expected the deal to be signed in the summer.
“We are very satisfied, it will solve our prison queue and problems with remand capacity in Norway,” he said.
At the time The Netherlands gave preliminary approval to the deal in September, no fewer than 1,300 people in Norway had been given jail sentences but as yet had no place in prison.
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The Netherlands, on the other hand, has a surplus of prison places.