Offenders

More than half of the approximately 2600 Dutchmen that are detained in foreign prisons throughout the world, originally do not come from the Netherlands. They were born and sometimes raised in the Netherlands Antilles, Surinam, Morocco, Turkey and several African or East European countries. 

Now, they all have the Dutch nationality or a valid residence permit. They have been educated in their native country, sometimes just for a limited number of years; in their mother tongue and within their own culture. Many of them can hardly read or write Dutch; hardly any of them have had a vocational training. As a result, they mostly operate on the fringes of Dutch society. 

Due to different causes, half of those who were born in the Netherlands, did not attend elementary school as they should and did not reach the final level. In most cases therefore, they did not receive a vocational training of which they would have had a diploma. The result: a benefit and substantial debts. Besides, they often have a lack of social skills, and behavioural problems as well as the inability of living 'together' play a part.

Education and counselling among other things, are a means to bring about a change for the better. A mere command of the Dutch language, through basic education and skills trainings, improves the chances of social reintegration. What better than to put the time the offenders are forced to spent in prison to good use? In that case 'doing time' has a positive effect aimed at the future after all. Both for the detainee himself and Dutch society, because a former detainee who has integrated and can provide for himself by earning his own salary, is no longer a worry or a threat for the citizens.