New approach to dealing with repeat offenders is successful

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

New research shows that a novel Dutch approach to dealing with repeat offenders is successful. But over the past year, judges ordered 550 repeat offenders, who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, be locked up for two years.
 
During their incarceration, the prisoners are taught how to take care of themselves and to get structure in their lives. When they’re released, many of them re-offend, but 12 percent of these former prisoners are now on the straight and narrow.
 

The numbers may not sound very impressive, but no one has been able to achieve similar results. Officials estimate that this new approach has prevented 3000 crimes. The Dutch deputy justice minister is considering imposing similar mandatory sentences on young repeat offenders who are addicted.  

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