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journalist, Amsterdam

VOXPOP – short segment about youth prisons in the Netherlands

2014 ⋅

Segment for VOXPOP. A French German show for tv channel Arte. In this episode the Youth Custody systems in Europe were being scrutinized. I explained something about the situation in the Netherlands. Watch the show below.

This is what I say: 

The Netherlands has 9 youth prisons which are annually inhabited by 1600 youngsters. Their time in between the walls can vary from a couple of days to a couple of years. Youth crime is a significant problem because adolescents between 16 and 23 are responsible for one third of all the criminal offences in the Netherlands. Incarceration is the least preferred option and there are many programs that are aiming to avoid this, such as youth counseling and community service.

In 2014 a new law has been formed in which the judge can decide if youth criminals between 16 and 23 will be judged as children or adults. It is considered important that each case requires an individual approach. Also, a lot of energy has been spent on working on the atmosphere and personal contact in youth institutions. Research shows that it increases the chances of rehabilitating into society if you treat the youngsters with respect.