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NCJ Number: 134849 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Dutch Penal System
Journal: American Jails  Volume:5  Issue:6  Dated:(January-February 1992)  Pages:61-65
Author(s): P Mevis
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Dutch penal system provides for three kinds of facilities (prisons, remand centers, and a special institution to incarcerate the dangerously mentally ill person) and for alternatives to incarceration.
Abstract: Imprisonment is the most severe sanction in the Dutch legal system and can be imposed only for the most severe offenses. Detention is used for most minor offenses, while persons who committed a crime at a time when they were found to be suffering from a mental disorder can be confined for an indefinite period of time. Probation and community service orders can be issued; if the individual abides by these restrictions, he or she will not have to serve jail time. Over the past 20 years, the Dutch criminal justice system has focused on alternatives to incarceration. The community service order has been given a legal base as a separate punishment in the Criminal Code. This order is designed to replace sentences of confinement of up to 6 months. Offenders must consent to the community service order, and they can be given a maximum sentence of 240 hours of community service. A committee of experts has recently recommended that the community service concept be expanded and that a new sanction called "punishment of restricted liberty" be established to incorporate such programs as victim remuneration, vocational training, substance abuse treatment, and intensive supervision probation. Dutch penal law distinguishes between institutions for male and female offenders and between adult and young offenders. The penal system also incorporates the ideas of open institutions and gradual release. The gradual release system is designed to help inmates with long sentences regain their freedom on a phased basis. In addition, remand centers are part of the penal system for those in a pretrial status. Data on the number of prisoners in some European countries, detention rates in the Netherlands, and the Dutch penitentiary capacity are provided. 3 tables
Main Term(s): Foreign correctional systems
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community service programs; Foreign correctional facilities; Foreign criminal justice systems; Netherlands; Remand procedures
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