- Feb 19, 2012
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
More and more Dutch prisoners get keys to open their own jail cell. The department of Justice is doing that to give prisoners more responsibilities. And that is not all that is going to happen. Soon prisoners will be given keys to leave their own wings, but this will only be done in the new prison in Zaandam.
In Dordrecht, prisoners have had keys to their cell for about 2 years. They cannot open the cell when they want to, roughly it is only possible for them to use their keys between 8am and 5pm. Prison wardens are also happy with the experiment because it frees up their time, because they are now no longer having to open cell doors all through the day.
Prisoners are also happy with the new experient. One of them says: "I think it is very convenient. If someone comes to visit, the visitors will laugh when I put my key on the table. They might think I could get out with that key, but that of course is not possible".
High ranking civil servant van Dijk, director of the prison system, is of the opinion that having a key helps prisoners take more responsibility for their own behavior/existence. This way they are able to keep their jail cells clean and orderly and they can get to their jobs in jail on time.
"The people have made a mess of their lives and in jail we are going to look at how we can help improve that", according to van Dijk.
This system of course is not for all parts of the jail, people who are living in extra secure jails (super max for violent or trouble causing prisoners) or on the terror section of the jail will of course not be getting keys to their doors.
Besides games, a television, music and an ipad/tablet, prisoners are not getting keys. But prisoners want to make something crystal clear, this is no hotel says one of them. "People should stop thinking jail is a hotel. You are jailed, locked in. With a key like this you do not get the opportunity to leave here. You may have a key to your cell door but you are still locked in. It is tough being in jail.
Personally I think it is a good idea, jails, especially not non-violent and non-troublesome prisoners, should be a place where they are prepared for their later release from jail. Teaching them to take responsibility for their own, keeping their cell clean, keeping their cell in order, getting up/eating/showering and getting to their in jail jobs. People have to be given a sense of self worth because that will certainly help them staying out of jail in the future. If you just warehouse people for years until they get released you will achieve nothing.