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NCJ Number: 118776 Find in a Library
Title: Netherlands (From On Doing Less Harm: Western European Alternatives to Incarceration, P 113-147, 1988, David Fogel, -- See NCJ-118773)
Author(s): D Fogel
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
Sale Source: University of Illinois at Chicago
Office of International Criminal Justice
1033 West Van Buren Street, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Netherlands' criminal justice system is examined in terms of penal sanctions, suspended or conditional sentences, probation, aftercare, and alternatives to incarceration.
Abstract: Prison sentences are used as a last resort, and the Netherlands has the lowest incarceration rate in the western world. The Dutch criminal justice system in general distinguishes itself from other systems in that it resorts to criminal sanctions less. The definition of crime follows the principle of legality, meaning that no behavior is criminal unless specifically defined by the law. Courts are limited to interpreting statutes and may not reach decisions through analogy. In the absence of private prosecution and grand juries, Dutch prosecutors select cases and formulate charges. Sanctions are categorized as penalties and measures. Penalties include imprisonment, detention, and fines, while measures involve preventive detention, suspended sentences, and parole. Conditional release may be granted after two-thirds of a prison sentence is completed, with a minimum of 9 months being served. Probation officials must provide appropriate criminal justice authorities with timely information on persons suspected of a punishable act. The Dutch have what is called a "walking prison" population, which can be three to four times the number of those actually incarcerated. This population is separate from those on suspended sentences or parole. The pattern of low imprisonment rates in the Netherlands is due in large part to the diversion of most offenders out of the criminal justice system before trial. Within the criminal justice system, only about one-third are sentenced to prison and for very short sentences. 105 references, 3 tables.
Main Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization
Index Term(s): Netherlands; Probation; Sentencing/Sanctions
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