800,000 euro funding for research on living conditions in prisons
Researchers at the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology - Paul Nieuwbeerta, Anouk Bosma, Esther van Ginneken, Hanneke Palmen and Maria Berghuis - have received 800,000 euro from the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI) of the Ministry of Security and Justice to investigate living conditions in Dutch prisons.
Improving living conditions
The DJI attaches great importance to the creation of a humane and stimulating living environment in penal institutions. The creation of a humane living environment and the limitation of adverse effects of detention is one of the guiding principles in the Netherlands in the imposition and execution of a custodial sentence. Such a living environment can also have a positive effect within detention centres (security and welfare of prisoners and staff) and in the period following detention (a potential decrease in crime).
To improve living conditions in Dutch prisons it is important to have a good overview of the conditions at present. Part of the research will therefore be an extensive survey to be distributed in spring 2017 to all persons held in custody at all 28 penal institutions in the Netherlands.
In the past, Karin Beijersbergen, also affiliated to the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology, carried out research requested by the DJI, in which she developed a new instrument to adequately measure living conditions in prisons. The results of her research will be used in this current project which will last three and a half years.