Recently we posted THIS article and video explaining that the Dutch have pragmatically decided not to incarcerate people for petty crimes and that has resulted in a 19 of 65 prisons closing.  We received an interesting response from Jack J on our YouTube channel, challenging that claim and counter claiming that the recent immigration issues in Europe has caused a spike in Dutch crime which is not accounted for in official statistics:

…It is logical that in a homogeneous society criminality is less than in a multiculture, under similar economic situation, ie wealth. Mixing cultures by definition leads to increased crime. This is also the reason numbers are manipulated.

As for proof; i present you the idea that crime went down, which shows in a number of prisons closed down. That is a lie. In 2008 mpc’s were introduced, based on a test with volunteers. This is the direct reason for the vacancies. Obviously putting all single cell inmates in double cells (or more), immediately leads to a 50% reduction in capacity needed.

…~90% of inmates are immigrants.

The logic is solid so we decided to look into this a bit more.


Several of our team were in The Netherlands for 2 days earlier this month and spent half a day in Amsterdam.  There was never an incident or a cause for concern that we saw, beyond some very near misses between bikes, pedestrians, cars and trains.  That anecdotal evidence does not hold up to scientific standards.

Dutch Crime Facts with United States Comparables: strives to dispassionately consider facts and avoid hyperbole.   So lets look at a few numbers that everyone can likely agree on before drawing conclusions.  Note that I am finding the facts as I write this and have truly not made up a position to defend.

I found some 2015 data that showed about half of the Dutch prison population were immigrants, but as you can see below, the 2013 numbers look about the same.

  • In the US 42% of crimes involve immigrants but half of those are immigration related crimes.  SOURCE
  • The Dutch have about 381 police officers per 100,000 people compared to 284 police officers in the US, 412 in Belgium and just 195 police officers per 100,000 people in Canada SOURCE1 SOURCE2
  • For whatever reason (early release, ankle bracelets used for home arrest, not jailing people for petty crime…) the number of people in the Dutch prisons has declined precipitously in the last decade
  • In 2016 The Netherlands incarceration rate was just 69 / 100,000 people which is about half of European average and compares to the US at 716/100,000 SOURCE SOURCE
  • In 2016 The Netherlands recidivism rate was 40% compared to the US at 52% (in 2013) SOURCE
  • See the graph below showing how ‘get tough on crime’ has caused US prison populations to explode.  Do you think there is a population in the US (other than New Yorkers) that feels drastically safer today than they did in 1980?
  • Dutch prisons provide healthcare, personal space, addition (drug / alcohol) and mental health counselling compared to the US which provides very limited ‘personal assistance’ SOURCE
  • dutch-prisoner-ankel-bracelettDutch prisons use ankle bracelets to monitor inmates rather then constant intimidation/confrontation so often found in US prisons
  • About a decade ago the Dutch started cutting sentences for those prisoners thought to be quickly able to enter the workforce but kept them in check with ankle bracelet monitoring.  Again there is very little of this happening in the US SOURCE
  • In recent years there have been an increasing number of reports with headlines like: DUTCH CRIME RATE MUCH HIGHER THAN OFFICIAL FIGURES INDICATE: REPORT SOURCE
  • In 2016 the Dutch had 28% of reported crimes closed because there were no suspects and then they dismissed another 16% of the ones they did prosecute.  This is an enviable rate compared to US rates where even 1 in 3 murders go unsolved solved.
  • About 8% of asylum seekers (i.e. not all immigrants) to Holland were a crime SUSPECT and 1.5% are facing serious punishment SOURCE
  • Internal Dutch government reports estimate that 57% of crimes go unreported which is about the same as the US but better than Canada where it is believed by the official government statistics bureau that only 5% of rapes are even reported SOURCE1 SOURCE2 SOURCE3


Just because something is not nice, does not make it not true.  If your country of origin is has 20 times the incarceration rate of our domestic population, something has to change.

If we were running The Netherlands, we would quickly look into why the Antillean, Moroccan and Surinamese have such wildly higher incarceration rates and if nothing useful is garnered from that investigation, we would consider blocking those populations from any form of migration.

That being said, overall the facts seem clear.  Even with their serious migrant issues, the Dutch have a superior incarceration system to the United States and that is the point of our previous article.  We stand by that piece you can read and watch HERE.

What do you think?


Jack Jones · June 21, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Jack J here, with some further remarks:

1) Unfortunately it is impossible to measure crime by ppl incarcerated or even convicted over a longer period of time. Laws change and this greatly affects institutionalized ppl aswell as convictions.
For instance; since the introduction of the “wet Mulder” ppl will be arrested and put in jail for not paying cjib ticket claims for traffic violations. As soon as another gov decides it is not a good idea and the law dropped, there is a sudden drop incarcerated ppl. This applies to a wide variety of ‘crimes’, but obviously not to the universal types of murder and theft, which are punished in pretty much all cultures.

I cannot prove crime went up, but the state in no way can prove to native dutch that it went down. In 1970, ppl still had a rope through their mailbox that was a slot in the front door. Pulling this rope opened the door. In other words, front doors werent locked. My grandparents who lived in a village didnt even have a lock on their door. Our bikes had no locks, bc nobody would steal them. Cars were usually unlocked. This all changed mid 70ies to mid 80ies. IE when immigration of certain groups happened. The mass immigration that followed didnt make that any better.
But in those days, ppl did get way more traffic violations. Do these count as crime?

Its not all that easy, but the above example does indicate things are not what the government wants us to believe. You can check my story. Everyone above 50 will confirm it.

2) Anyone that has been in prison or is working there knows the % of immigrants is about 90%. The problem with the presented stats is that they pulled another trick out of the big hat:
As far as i know (this has been a discussion for decades) CBS (Dutch buro of statistics – a state statistical org) counted immigrants as: direct immigrants and 2 generations of descendence. Maybe that changed, or they deliberately only measured direct immigrants.
Native dutch in prison/jail is less than 10%, depending on which prison you are in. Torentijd is about 80%, but prisons in the ‘randstand’ (the Holland provences and Utrecht) near 95% immigrants; with immigrants being anyone not native dutch.
As i stated before; the gov, made up of right and left wing globalists, ever since the late 80ies, wants to suppress public resistance to mass immigration, which is the main reasons for representing these things as is.

3) Recidivism for NL is 40%? Thats funny, bc ive been hearing for many years its stable at 80%, which is the number most ppl in the sector used without discussion. It is about the same as most Western European countries, with the exception of Norway, which has a far better %. Norway is the only country in western Europe that has a functioning ‘resocialisation’.
Resocialisation in NL is non functioning. But im sure they have great advertisement for that too ;]
I guess you can easily manipulate that number too. What is recidivism? Does it have to be the same crime? Any crime? Is breaking your VI conditions recidivism? Etc.

4) “Dutch prisons provide healthcare, personal space, addition (drug / alcohol) and mental health counselling compared to the US which provides very limited ‘personal assistance’”
??? I cannot say anything about a comparison to the US, bc i hardly know anything about that, but i do know the dutch penal system.
Yes there is healthcare. Ppl also die in their cells, bc doors will not quickly be opened when someone is having a heart attack past 5 pm. It takes days easily to get an ibuprofen. But yes, there is healthcare. Just dont get sick past 5 pm.
Personal space? Yes, when you have a single cell. As stated, with the introduction of mpcs in 2008 that was lost. That is, everyone has to spend a time in an mpc, unless you get a contra-indication. These are given by fair psychologists, if there is one and then revoked when there are too many. And then it all starts all over. In the meantime it gives great unrest. Generally, ppl do not want to be in mpcs.
Addiction/mental health counselling: It exists. Imo its not bad. However, since 2011 there has been a tendency (instruction from ministry) to keep more ppl with mental health issues in prison. Prisons are not suited for that.
The main reason dutch prisons do well imo, is bc the personnel on the floor is good. They have no social workers education (which would make them bad). Unfortunately, due to several rounds of cut backs, the best ppl already left the sector. This is ongoing and obviously will have a huge negative consequence.

5) “Internal Dutch government reports estimate that 57% of crimes go unreported”
Says who? Thats rhetorical. The point is, it is not so easy to put a number on things that arent reported. And the gov doesnt really want to know; so we are not riddled with extensive surveys.

The ankle bracelet is a good thing. It costs much less than incarcerating ppl. Unfortunately it is usually dealers and such that have that option and not ppl that were sentenced for manslaughter/murder in a relationship setting. The latter category has very low recidivism and usually have normal lives, but are not allowed ankle bracelets, while the former is allowed and they just go on dealing right out of their house. Unchecked. But that is a practical/execution error. The idea itself is good.

I could say a lot more, but on one hand have to stay on topic as best as possible, on the other hand; i do not want to be writing a book here.

One more thing though:

Imo ppl should not be locked up, except for real predators. From what i have seen in prison those are very few.
incarceration may help as a shock effect for a few weeks. To get someone out of an acute situation maybe, but not as out jails and prisons are and no longer than those few weeks.

No matter which crime; theft, rape, murder, it does not help in any way to lock ppl up with the expectation they will come out better. They dont. There are other and much better ways to deal with crime, but that starts with each and every one to recognize the fact that ppl in shitty situations will do shitty things. Including you.

Ian Matthews · June 21, 2018 at 4:45 pm

Hi Jack; your points are well taken although I will stand by the numbers and logic provided in the articles. I agree that there are a large number of people that should be locked up for various periods of time including life. In fact I am for the death penalty in theory but opposed to it in practice.

When I say large numbers I mean real numbers (i.e. thousands of people), not large percentages. I have not done the research to form an educated opinion but as an off the cuff comment, if 05% of your population has been locked up, that makes sense to me just from my personal experience of 1 in 200 is dangerous. Perhaps as high as 1.5% is good. I just googled and found that 4.4% if the US rate and that seems extremely high, costly and negative for society. IMHO, when you are approaching 1 in 20 people have been incarcerated, you either have one shitty population or one crappy justice system.

Thanks again for your comments.

Jack Jones · June 21, 2018 at 6:26 pm

Hi Ian:
I wouldnt expect you to change your article. ;]

Had to laugh as i read your “In fact i am for the death penalty in theory but opposed to it in practice” and immediately thought i was the entire opposite; I am against it in theory, but for it in practice. Lol

I dont think there is an optimal number of incarcerated ppl. Well there is; 0. With the condition that there is no crime.
The question of course is
What is crime?
Why does it exist?
How can we prevent it?

Glad to contribute Ian!

calgarytech · June 24, 2018 at 8:32 pm

This is the discussion we NEED to have to work out these difficult issues. I am 99.9999% sure I have the answer to every problem, but in retrospect, I often find I was working from incomplete information and should have chosen a different path after talking to others with a different perspective. We very much try to keep this site to facts and mark opinion as such.

Thanks again Jack 🙂

Ell Van Strich · June 25, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Many prisons have closed over the past years, also the ones in Maastricht and Sittard. Definitely not because there is no crime here anymore 😉 … but nowadays the people who have committed a crime often stay in clinics where they get special (psychological) help so that after a while they can return to society.

A nice theory, but it is not always a success because, as you can imagine, too often people who return to society fall back into their old habits and return to their old friends and commit crimes again.

I cannot tell you whether statistics are showing the real numbers. And yes, many people who commit crimes are immigrants (often second or third generation living in the Netherlands), but Dutch people commit crimes just as well … unfortunately I don’t know the statistics on this either.

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